What My Child Will Remember of Me

I woke up this morning dreaming about my grandfather.  Larger than life he was right there, in my living room, opening the shades and greeting my child with a jolly good morning.  In my dream, he had arrived to babysit and even in the make-believe, I rushed around half-asleep picking up toys and complaining about the mess.  He was there so clearly and it was disconcerting to jerk awake at the sound of a man knocking on my window yelling, “Water and Power!”  (god bless those meter readers)

Sam returned from his drive to work shortly thereafter (he didn’t get far before he remembered he’d forgotten his briefcase – like I said, we’re both tired) with a grin on his face and a story to tell me.  A man had shared an anecdote on NPR about his father who once upon a time sold toupees.  The son yarned about how his father would comb his hair to look like one of his products.  Then, in the middle of his pitch, he would yank on his hair claiming, “See?  This sucker isn’t going anywhere.”  Sam demonstrated yanking on his own real-hair toupee to show me how funny it was and I couldn’t help but laugh hysterically.  Imagine a man pretending his hair was a toupee…what a character.

And that’s what got me to contemplating what my child will remember of me when I’m gone.  Quality traits I wish I had (versus those that I have, but desperately hope no one notices) were the first to come to mind quickly followed by what I would look like if I had them.  Something like January Jones meets Martha Stewart meets Sheryl Sandberg.  Floating around like a model in a poodle skirt while making Halloween costumes from scratch and chatting to Hillary Clinton and Christine Lagarde in the parlor.  They’re eating strawberry scones I baked at dawn and the three of us are finalizing an initiative we’re proposing for a ‘Save The World’ summit.  I’m hurrying of course because I have a date later with my husband to some fabulous museum event that requires hair and make-up.  (we’ve donated a wing and must make an appearance)  And the dog is not on the furniture, and there are no matchbox cars on the floor, and I have washed my hair…and put on socks that match…and remembered to buy milk.  If only.

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