Friday, March 4, 2011

The Snodgrass Memoirs : Mama's girl


Once upon a time, I was a little girl

and my Mom called me "Snodgrass".
It was a term of endearment that survived the test of time.
Just typing that word makes me feel safe and secure.
I have so many wonderful memories filed away from my childhood
that I've decided to start recounting them and
I'm calling this collection of memories

The Snodgrass Memoirs.

I was a Mama's girl when I was a child. My heart yearned to be near my mom at all times.
Of course, going to preschool was hard for me. I can remember sitting in class
with a broken heart and daydreaming that my Mom
would knock on the classroom door to rescue me.
My imagination would go wild as I envisioned
a ray of sunshine beaming down on her when my teacher opened the door.
She would swoop me up and the angels would sing as we left school.
We would ride on a unicorn and go get ice cream.

I was usually pulled out of my reverie and awakened
to fact that I was stuck at preschool.
The cheerful environment did nothing to comfort me
and the nap mats stacked in the corner tormented me.
I hated naps,
I hated being away from my mommy,
and I often shed tears over my butter cookies and fruit punch
during snack time.

I started having nightmares around the same time that I started preschool.
I can remember one of them to this day.
It's pretty hilarious but scared the living daylights
out of my three year old mind.

I drempt that a Barbie Doll was standing on the stage of The Gong Show
and that a gorilla hand grabbed her and pulled her off of the stage.
I woke up terrified and my Mother came running into my room when she heard my crying.
"I had bad pictures behind my eyes."
I told her in a shaky voice.
(She thought that I was wise beyond my years for saying this
and has repeated this quote numerous times at various family functions.)

The nightmares continued for weeks and my Mother
grew weary of making the trip to my room to comfort me each night.
She came up with a plan that involved a rope that was tied to my bed frame
that traveled out of my room, down the hallway,
And into her room where she tied the other end to her bed.
"If you wake up scared just pull on the rope and it will wake me up.
Then, I'll pull back three times and that means "I love you."
She instructed as she kissed my forehead goodnight.

Later that night, as the darkness seeped into my room,
I woke up in terror from a nightmare.
The room looked so big and dark
and I can remember frantically reaching beside my bed for the rope.
My little fingers grasped it and I pulled with all my might.
A few moments passed as my shallow breath echoed in my head.
Then, just as she had promised, three little tugs
pulled my hand up and down.

She loved me.
I could feel it
and I fell back asleep.

The bad dreams faded away as I matured a bit.
Eventually, I outgrew needing to tug the rope
but we left it up for many years,
just in case I needed a little nudge in the middle of the night.
I can remember feeling so safe
as I gazed at it by my bed.

Night after night,
the rope remained.

When I was a young lady,
my mom and I reminisced about this story
and she confessed that the rope had actually been cut
a few nights after my last nightmare.

I love my Mom for believing in me
and I love her even more for leaving up that open ended rope.


Karin van Dam said...

That's such a sweet story. Thank you for sharing it with us.

Me said...

Your mom is awesome. ;)

Unknown said...

What a great story...what a great Mom.

Secret Mom Thoughts said...

What a good mama!

Amy said...

I just love this story! What an amazing mother you have. All children should be so fortunate, to be made to feel so safe and loved.

I can't wait to read more of this series:)

Ducky said...

You have such phenomenal stories. It will be so amazing to see what super cool stories your children will share...

R Montalban said...

Your Mum sounds like a fantastic lady, and raised you to be just like her. This for me was a beautiful story, one of the many I have loved you sharing. Genuinely, I think you are just charming and you make me smile when I need it, and today, I really need it because I feel like I have just saved my stepdad from the gates of hell and in the process have had to deal with his real biological kids who are either evil or unbelievably stupid, either way, both so completely not acceptable. So thank you.

risa bug said...

leigh, this is such a great story about your mom! i hope sometime in the next decade or so, i'll be able to bring my little peanut to athens and introduce her to your family and give your mama a hug (and stick my tongue out at your dad). i even got a little teary reading about the rope - brilliant idea...i think i'm finally pmsing. love you.

Caroline said...

Leigh, I got all choked up reading this. You're mom sounds awesome. I am so looking forward to more of the Snodgrass Memoirs! Thank you for sharing them with us.