Aren’t they odd things: memories? I often find myself trying to remember things about way back when and sometimes I just never feel sure whether something actually happened or whether my mind tricked me into thinking it did. Memory is weird like that: what you remember and what in fact happened is often different. Yet, we pride ourselves in memories and hang on to them more than anything else. To jog our memory we have keepsakes such as photos or items that take us back to the good times of lore. Usually though we don’t have any tangible to go by and this goes for some of my fondest memories from growing up. That is why today I would like to share a few of my memories from when I was a kid.
The first memory that springs to mind are memories of sleepovers at my mom’s parents’ house. Whenever I stayed the night my grandma would have me primp in front of the mirror with her. She would polish my nails and let me wear some of her perfume (Cacharel’s Anais Anais I now know). She once even gave me an almost empty bottle and added water to it so it wouldn’t be too strong. As we were getting ready for bed she would teach me songs and tell me stories from when she was little.
Another distinct memory from those sleepovers is playing games. My grandma was a fanatic about all kinds of games with board and card games being her favorites. I have always been quite fond of playing games and I’m pretty sure it was my grandma who is responsible for that as she’d teach me all of her favorites. We would play monopoly, a card game where you had to reach 1000 points as quickly as you could and many others. For some reason though, my most vivid memory is sitting at my grandparents’ kitchen table playing Ludo/ Mens Erger Je Niet. I think I remember that one in particular because the board my grandma had, had this ball in the middle with the dice inside it and you had to push it to give the dice a roll without it getting lost.
One of my fondest memories and one event in my life that my family STILL talks about to this day is also linked to a sleepover at my grandparents’ place. After one of the sleepovers my granddad had to take his brother and family to Efteling, a Dutch Theme Park not too far from where I used to live. I was allowed to play tag along with my grandpa and once we got there I was suddenly allowed to also go to the park! I was so happy (mind you I was only 5 or 6 years old at the time) but what I didn’t know was that the whole thing had been planned beforehand. I only found out a few years ago when we were talking about it at a family reunion. Everyone there still remembered little old me sitting on her knees on the ground working out the map and showing everyone where to go and getting totally peeved about almost getting lost at one point. I was stubborn, even for a 5 year old. 😉
These are just a few memories I have of my grandparents. I still remember some of the songs my grandpa taught me, the way he used to scare us for fun, the dog they used to have and my grandma’s knitting and crochet lessons before going to swimming classes. Unfortunately they both passed away a few years ago but I have plenty of memories that keep them close to me. They were definitely my favorite grandparents and since I was their first grandchild I was always special to them and they have always been special to me. I went to see them every week, even when I had already moved out to go to university and I could tell they really appreciated that.
What are some of your favorite memories growing up?