Friday, October 19, 2012

An Ordinary Time Machine

by Laura Bradford

As I get older, I find that flashes of the present transport me into the past all the time. And each time it happens, it's like an unexpected gift that almost always leaves me with a smile on my face.

It happened again just last night. My husband and I went to see Fiddler on the Roof at a nearby dinner theater. The first number in the show--Traditions--was an instant flash back to a time when Dear Daughter # 1 (who is closing in on 18) was just ten. She was part of an amazing kids' production of Fiddler during the year I homeschooled her and her sister.

In that production, DD # 1 was a Jewish man--equipped with black vest, black hat, black pants, beard, and wig (to cover her almost white-blonde hair). Suddenly, I was back in the auditorium, watching her instead of the actual cast on the stage in front of me. I saw her arms shoot up every single time theirs did. I saw her dancing to the left and the right. I know I was smiling through the memory, but I also know my eyes were misting, too.

Then, later on in the show, the four male actors start doing the bottle-dance. And, once again, I was back in that auditorium, watching my little girl dancing with a bottle atop her head. I could see the concentration and pride on her face as the audience clapped. I saw the momentary disappointment when, during one of the performances, the bottle slipped off her hat the last time she rose from her knees.

Boom. Eight years disappeared before my eyes.

And I loved every single moment of it.

These flashes happen often. For both girls. Sometimes, they're triggered by a song. Sometimes, they're triggered by a book. Sometimes, they're triggered by the girls, themselves--a certain smile or look. But no matter what it is, I'm always so grateful for the trip down memory lane.



  1. I know you're in that phase where everything is resonating because DD#1 is going off to college next year. I'm here to tell you that you do survive and that when she calls you next year and tells you that she's happier than she's ever been (and she will; I promise), you, in turn, will be happier for her than you've ever been. This last year before they go off is a tough one so enjoy every moment. It seems like you are. Maggiexo

  2. Next year is coming awfully fast, Maggie...

  3. Will it help if I tell you mine have been out of the nest for decades but I still get to enjoy so unexpected flashbacks? The kids are gone bhe memories linger on.

  4. And what a wonderful thing to have, isn't it, LD?

    Thanks for stopping by!

  5. I second what LD said, Laura. Mine have been out for a while (not decades yet), but the memories and flashbacks joyfully remain. Enjoy this year for what it is, and know that it's the beginning of new wonders just as much as the end of old ones.

  6. Thanks, Linda. I like that last line. Got me a little misty-eyed, but in a good way. :)

  7. Just wait until there are grandchildren...and you see the same expressions on their faces, or personality traits(good and bad!)....the flashbacks and memories are fast and furious. And, it's wonderful.

  8. Wow. I can't even imagine, Michelle. But it sounds like fun!!