My mother wore a small gold watch with a delicate bracelet fastening for many years. Even long after it broke and lived in her jewellery box instead of on her wrist, it was still what I thought of as her watch, on her tanned, deft wrist. She has always worn soft, fluffy, knitted hats in pastel colours in the winter, for warmth, and to save her perm from the winds and rain. She owns a bizarrely complicated flossing contraption the like of which I have never seen anywhere else. As she uses up a lipstick it takes on a strange pointed shape, completely different from my flat-topped ones. She insists on stirring the teapot when the tea has almost brewed and then waiting another minute before pouring.
There are probably things, I got to thinking, in my life that are as clearly “me” to my children as all those things are my mother to me. They stand for much more than the sum of their parts: they are pieces of my childhood landscape and they bring with them a sensation of warmth, safety, and security. They are the elegant and the everyday; small, simple, ritual objects.
What are my objects, I wondered? What will my children think of when they think of me? (Is my laptop one of them?) I didn’t ask the kids, because it’s hard to project yourself into the future and see what will seem important then; but I took a few pictures. If you’d like to add your own blog post, there’s a Link-Up button at the end. I’d love to read it.
Thinking about my mum’s watch brought all this on, and mine is probably as much a part of me as hers was to her. I’ve certainly had it, and worn it daily, since before my kids were born, because I bought it in Las Vegas as a late birthday present in 2005. I hope to never need a new watch, because I do love this one.
I have a fancy new camera now, but that doesn’t mean I’ve abandoned my little green old faithful. It’s still much handier to pop in my bag or my back pocket than the big Canon that shouts “I’m taking a picture” at you, and it’s very “me”.
This is my keyring. I’ve had it for years. It’s smooth and hard and tactile, and I admit that babies have gnawed on it, though I told them it was filthy. It didn’t have all those tiny dents and scratches when I bought it; those are life-marks.
I’m cheating a little here, because these sandals are still new. But they are so very much exactly my thing that I’m pretty sure in years to come when my kids see something like this they’ll say “Yep, those are very Mom.”
I have a new hat this year, that’s sturdier and straighter and has a lovely curve and dip to the big ol’ brim. But this is still my go-to hat for the summer, to stuff in a bag or take to the pool (it’s had a swim a few times and come out not much changed) or shove under my uxter as we run out of the house. When my kids remember summers, I’m pretty sure they’ll remember the bendy brim and nubbly texture of this hat. And the face underneath too, I hope.