This year’s Chanukah brought back a piece of old school history into our constantly connected lives – a record player. My husband and I bought it for the family and gave it to the kids on night eight. It was truly a scene watching them open and investigate this foreign object. As my husband amusingly observed,
“It’s like watching one of those nature shows where a strange object gets placed in a chimpanzees’ enclosure. Nobody wanted to get close to it at first.”
Soon enough each child, at their own pace and comfortability level, found a dusty record in our basement and placed it inside its square little house and watched in awe as the large sphere circled round and round playing actual music. The next morning I woke up to find two little feet peeking out from behind the couch. As stealthily as I could I glanced over the furniture to find my youngest son listening to a record with headphones (because they now make these devices with Bluetooth and a headphone jack – of course) and his eyes were fixated on the needle, the vinyl…the everything.
This morning I decided to do the same. I picked a childhood favorite, gently blew off all the dust bunnies from decades ago and placed needle to vinyl. As Annie’s Song flowed from small speakers, crackling and majestic, the flood of emotion and memory went straight to my chest. Immediately, from heart to head, the polaroid-like photograph came into smoky view. I remembered the mornings my mother would wake up, toast my bagel, and turn on John Denver records. I could hear her gorgeous music box of a voice singing along with every song as she took the cream cheese out of the fridge and spread it over my crunchy circles. I remembered her long, slim fingers and naturally beautiful nails glide along my plate like a perfectly trained ice skater on smooth, perfect ice. She would sit next to me while I ate, read the paper and still be singing along never missing a note or word. Then she would eat my last uneaten bite. Her lips were the top and bottom of a heart.
Even though not consciously trying or aware parents make memories for their children. As child-turned-adult I now remember the small moments that have grown to become everything. The time we make to love them, snuggle them and spread cream cheese on their bagel could give our kids what they need to one day give back that love to others.
Happy Holidays to all!