I suppose it goes without saying that there are things that we're drawn to simply because they remind us of childhood. Having lost my mother over ten years ago, I can tell you that her absence amplifies the sensation. For whatever reason, over the last few months, I've been experiencing a renewed ache for my mother. And with that longing has come the pull to an assortment of things.
Yesterday, at Target, it was chocolate covered cherries. They stopped me dead in my tracks: the red box with the larger-than-life chocolate and cherry candy picture. That image transported me through the tunnel of time that resides in my head to a moment 30 years ago. It was December and I was with my mother in K-Mart at 53rd and Columbus in Anderson. There we stood before a display of seasonal items. We weren't a family that had a lot. Every penny was counted. But there were moments of indulgence. Mom would look at the cherries then at me, look back at the cherries, smile and pull a box off the shelf and place it in the cart. After finishing the shopping trip, we'd giggle our way to the car where we'd excitedly rip the cellophane from the box, lift the top, pull back the quilted paper cover and smell the rush of chocolaty, sugary sweetness wafting out from the pretty gold tray. We'd each savor one perfectly formed chocolate dome, then replace the quilt and the lid and stow the box back in the bag where it would be safe from our greedy sugar teeth.
I bought a box. And as I peeled back the cellophane and took my first taste of the candy, I realized it was not nearly as sweet as the memories of those little moments with my mom.
And, this is where I need to accept the lesson as a mother myself and know that my children will be drawn to these little sweet moments, not the big vacations, the expensive toys or the grand gestures. It's the the little things that matter.