Friday, November 24, 2006

thanksgiving memories

(This piece began two years ago at our writer’s group—the prompt was to write about a favorite Thanksgiving memory from the 3rd person vantage point. This was my free-write, with a little editing, of course! Oh—and because my Mom and Dad will be sure to point it out, I’ve taken a little liberty with which cousin is which… writer’s perogative!)

It was a scene she remembered well—two little heads of hair, one curly, one straight, bobbing up and down the same creaky wooden steps. She looked across the room at her cousin with a knowing smile—the smile was returned with a confirming nod. It had been the two of them, some twenty-five years ago—bobbing up and down the steps, poking their heads through the cutout window on the landing that allowed a prime view of the preparations, eyeing the pies and the brownies with particular interest. It had been the two of them giggling, whispering, telling secrets and generally making the grown-ups worry and wonder. This year, it was their daughters…

She marveled at the resemblance as if seeing them again for the first time. No wonder her father often slipped and called her daughter by her own name. She wondered if her uncle did the same. “How surreal this must be for our parents,” she thought. It was surreal enough for her—as if she were looking back in time and observing her own childhood. She wished she could remember her own thoughts and plans and schemes—she wished for that precious insight into the mind of her daughter as she caught the gleam in her five-year-old eyes on her way through the living room for the fourth or fifth time. “Nothing,” her daughter responded sheepishly when asked what she was up to. None of them believed her.

Her father commented to her uncle about the scene looking familiar—apparently she was not the only one finding the unfolding events to be worthy of note. Somehow, that was reassuring to her. It felt good to know she was not alone in her fascination—nor in her feelings of affection. The curly-haired one bobbed by her yet again and she grabbed the wriggling child for a quick smooch on the top of the head before turning her loose once more, catching her father’s eye as she did. He smiled, and she smiled in return. “Brings back memories,” he said to his own curly-haired girl. “Indeed it does,” she replied with a sentimental smile. “Indeed it does.”

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