I'm not sure why, but I've been thinking about my childhood a lot lately. I really don't have a great recollection of it, my memory is awful! I guess that's one reason I write this blog. When Audrey is older and wants to know about when she was a baby, I can just tell her to go read the blog :)
My most cherished memory is of my Nana and Pop. I absolutely loved it when they came to visit. It was like everything was so much better. I wish I had a better word to describe it. The anticipation would start when we would clean the whole house (who doesn't love a super clean, ready-for-company house??) My mom would set out a little snack (Entenmann's coffee cake...YUM) and make coffee and have it setting on the table for when they arrived. Their arrival was thrilling in itself. If we were in school that day, I'd be overcome with anticipation as our bus pulled to our stop. I remember being so anxious to see if their car was there. And of course, if it was, we'd run so fast to get home. Even when I was in high school and I could drive, that feeling never went away. I clearly remember what that felt like. My Pop was very quiet and gentle. My Nana was kind and generous and boisterous...I can still hear her wonderful laugh, it was contagious. And she always smelled so good and looked beautiful, even after the 6 hour car ride from Staten Island.
What's interesting is that we didn't really do anything out of the ordinary during their visit. They came and watched our soccer games and dance recitals. We'd sit around the big dining room table and eat a huge spaghetti dinner (my Nana made the best sauce!) We'd all cram into the living room and watch prime time TV. We did normal, everyday things and yet they were so much more fun just because Nana and Pop were there. They completely lightened the mood of our house. You couldn't help but be happy around them. And when they left, my Nana always gave us money. $5 a piece. It was awesome.
And going to visit them was just as great. I loved their house. It was way tiny, there was only 1 bathroom, and we had to share a bedroom (I'm pretty sure my closet is bigger than my dad's old bedroom!) But it was so clean and cozy. My Nana knew how to make a house a home. We loved playing in their large basement and we'd spend hours down there dancing or playing random games. I used to love curling up on their couch and reading. It was there I discovered my love of mystery/thriller novels. My Nana had a copy of The Silence of the Lambs. I had been thumbing through it (I was in middle school) and came across a particularly gruesome part. I read it over and over, thinking to myself, "How could someone write about something so horrible??" I was hooked. And then I just had to read it from the beginning. I became obsessed with the book and would read it every chance I got. To this day it's one of my favorite books, and probably the reason I'm so obsessed with reading about and watching anything that has to do with crime solving. I've digressed.
Basically, the best part of my childhood were my grandparents. They passed away a few years ago and it was so, so hard on my family. I miss them all the time. I wish I could have danced with my Nana at my wedding. I wish they could have held Audrey. Chris is lucky enough to have most of his grandparents, even some of his great grandparents. And now I'm lucky to have them too. As I reminisce about those warm fuzzy feelings I wonder what memories Audrey will cherish, what memories will be really important to her. I hope she has plenty of them and I hope, I pray, that some of them include me.