When I was a little girl, I wasn’t so much into dolls and playing house and other girlie activities as I was into horses. I had a collection of Breyer brand horses (http://www.breyerhorses.com), the hard plastic kind that were designed to look quite realistic. My mother recently found my collection under her house, and brought them down when she was visiting this past weekend. The girls divided them equally (there are 10 in all) and spent the entire day making up little horse adventures and having little horse conversations (think: lots of neighing and whinnying, mixed in with English translations of these sounds).
String Bean’s style of playing is pretty rough, with horses jumping around each other, crashing into each other, and yelling at each other before they run screaming away from some invisible monster or evil witch. But Peanut’s horses are quiet types that eat together, go for walks together, and give each other kisses before laying down to sleep. She takes her time to pet each horse, talking to them in soothing tones as she cares for them, and each horse already has a name. Peanut’s version of horse play is exactly the same as mine was as a child, and it takes me back to watch her. In those quiet moments, as I replay my own happy childhood memories while watching Peanut creating her own, I’m reminded of another great thing about motherhood.
There are so many insignificant little moments from my childhood that I’ve forgotten over the years, silly little games I used to play, joyful songs we used to sing in preschool, quiet moments where I felt completely content with the world around me. Seeing Peanut totally entertained in her own little world is a nice way to go back to those forgotten moments. So often since having kids I’ve felt like their existence somehow saps my brain, making me forgetful, distracted, much more absent-minded than I ever was pre-kids. It’s nice now to see that they also have the ability to rekindle my memory, and refill all of those empty spaces in my mind that they’ve created these past few years.