by David Todd McCarty | Wednesday, July 13, 2016
When my stepson was very small, he liked to talk about things that he had experienced, sometimes as recently as a week before or even a few days. It’s not like he could remember very far back. He didn’t have years worth of memories. It was more like weeks or months. A few weeks was a lifetime to him.
He would say, “Remember that time when we went to the beach, with you and mommy?”
“Yes,” I’d say. It had been just the previous weekend.
“That was fun,” he would say and smile.
He just wanted to relive the memory with someone. I think it was his way of looking at the world in a romantic light. His daydreams of what had been. He was always a romantic; always creating costumes, and imagining himself as other people.
This was before he began having difficulty with school and before his battle with his own personal demons and long before his struggle with addiction.
I used to call it short term nostalgia, or the remember when game?
At 48, I’m guilty of the same thing, but it’s more like over a period of five to ten years.
Remember when I used to like to go to the beach?
Remember when I thought was 230lbs was overweight?
Remember when I didn’t drink before 6pm?
Remember when I made more phone calls than texts?
Remember when I didn’t distrust the government quite so much?
Remember when I thought some wars were justified?
Remember when I thought America was the greatest country in the world?
I’ve said in the past, that the main reason that I get so frustrated with life is that I’m a big romantic and I can see clearly how life should work, though it rarely does. This causes me to be cynical, because you simply can’t continue to be disappointed and not have it effect your view of the world. So to protect myself, I assume the worst and hope for the best.
But I remember when my stepson was a little boy and we would eat lunch together after he got home from kindergarten. He’d chat about his day. What he saw. What he learned. What was funny. We’d eat soup and have a sandwich. I remember it fondly.
Sometimes I think we both miss that little boy.