Post last updated: December 17th, 2017
There are approximately 80 to 100 feet between my front door and Momma’s back door. Having no desire to meet the boogeyman face-to-face, more often than not, I lock my door when I go down to Momma’s. My keychain ends up on her kitchen counter.
The other day, the keychain became a source of controversy, maybe disgust, for Momma. Time and illness have stolen some of Momma’s short term memory including the details of how a toy tractor, all two inches of it, happened to become attached to my keychain. She was absolutely certain, however, that it did not fit the image she wanted for her eldest daughter. In her mind, its okay for me to grow a few vegetables out back and she mostly forgets about the compost bins but the toy tractor is just WRONG.
I had to remind her that in 2009 when Poppie and I went shopping for a new riding mower for the plantation (we share the resources), I was, um, a tad too enthusiastic about the salesman’s tractor keychain. Naturally, he was fresh out of these keychains and I was unable to acquire one for myself. Poppie, however, remembered the tractor episode when he returned to the store a few months later when the keychains were back in stock.
I recognize that Momma’s failing memory mimics how our closest friends and family don’t always see us for who we are. They see us as they wish to see us. My interest in gardening and Mother Earth News magazine were never hidden but only my brother-in-law really saw it along with the strangeness of other family members. He was certain that my sister, his wife, couldn’t possibly be related to us. They’ve been married 28 years and he still maintains she was left on the doorstep by gypsies. Surely. Imagine his shock and awe some five years from now when one of the strange family traits slips through the generations to land right in front of him in the face of my ever-so-proper sister. It’s inevitable, really, because as we age we become who we really are and the mask slips away. Hee hee hee.
Quite frankly, Scarlett, I love the toy tractor on my keychain. It defines what I value and who I want to be but perhaps with a tractor less fearsome than the one on my keychain.