Memories

While talking in the car with my sister and niece the other day we had a discussion about memories.   We were talking about how people in the same room come come back later and tell the same story two different ways.  We were talking about the same memory and both of us had that “Really, that happened?” response to each others telling of the same situation.  Then I thought I would just remind her about something that I used to do with my nephew when he was a baby.  He was born in 1982 and this was something that I thought she knew all these years.  Her response after telling my memory was priceless, but I will get to that in a minutes.

Through circumstances she could not control, my sister had her first child when she was really young.  She had 3 children by the time she was 18.  The nephew I told the story about is her middle child that she had when she was 17.  I was 15 and ended up babysitting him quite often.  Which was cool for me because I always thought he looked more like me than anyone else, especially as a baby, and I always pretended like he was mine.  This is my memory of my sweet baby nephew:

I have a really good friend who is more like a sister than just a friend.   We grew up together and have stayed in touch with each other more often than some of my own family.  If she wasn’t at my house I was at hers.  When I was 15 and she was around 13 her parents gave her a moped for Christmas or her birthday, I can’t remember which.  I worked as a dishwasher on the weekends and when I came home we always went on her moped to town to buy candy and stuff from the Circle K.  There were some weekends when I ended up having to babysit my nephew after we had already made these plans.  So rather than change them we improvised.

My friend and I would just put my baby nephew between us on the moped and take him with us.  Now when I say baby, I really mean baby.  He was somewhere between 6 months and a year old at the time.  He loved it, and couldn’t wait when I asked if he wanted to go for a ride.  What did we know back then about safety, we always wore helmets when we rode.  It was the early 80s and we were still kids ourselves.  Now in my memory, town from our house was only 5 miles away.  Not to far away for an easy moped ride with a baby snuggled between two friends.  I smile as I write this remembering the joy on his face as we are flying down the road at the fastest speed a moped built in the 80’s could go.  He loved those rides, this might have been when his adventuresome personality was born.   I can’t remember how many times we did this with him but I will say that this was a regular occurrence until my sister and her husband moved away.

Okay now lets get back to my conversation with my sister in her car this past weekend.  I asked her if she remembered what my friend and I used to do when my nephew was a baby.  She said “No, what was it.”  So I told her all about the trips we used to make.  She said and I had to repeat it back to her to make sure I heard her correctly.  “Oh, My God, No, I didn’t know that!  That was 15 miles away!”  Her next response was “I am so glad I didn’t know what you were doing.”  Now, unless I go back to my home town and measure it, I will not know if it was only the 5 miles of my memory or if it was actually the 15 miles in her memories.  If that is the case and it was 15 miles, then those bike rides (on two wheeled, peddled bikes) I had with another friend that lived 10 miles from me were way longer than I thought.  No wonder I was in such great shape at the end of the summer.

Looking back at that time, would I do it again?  Yes, most definitely.  That is a cherished memory of a dear nephew.  Would I want anyone to do it now in this day and time?  No, definitely not.  That was a more innocent time, less traffic on the roads, plus we lived in a small town in the middle of nowhere in New Mexico.  Oh, one other thing I didn’t tell my sister.  Sometimes it was my niece between us on the moped instead.  I wonder if my niece remembers that or not?  Probably not, since she was only 2-3 years old at the time.  She used to love those rides too…I love you Annie and Scottie!!!

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