Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Thanks for the Memories

It's been almost 2 years since we left Boston, and 1 1/2 since we last visited. I guess it shouldn't have surprised me, then, to find that Declan didn't really remember anyone from the first 21 months of his life. When I told him we were going to Boston and asked him who he thought we'd see there, he paused and looked thoughtful.

"Uncle Cake?"

That was a gimme. "Uncle Cake," aka Greg, my co-author and buddy, had spent 4 fun-filled days with us in Disney World last October. What kid wouldn't remember that? But Declan couldn't remember anyone else. I rattled off the names of the folks around whom he'd spent most of his time at the restaurant we owned in Ashland, Mass., but they didn't seem to ring a bell. Except for one.

"Do you remember Tony, the fireman?" Declan's eyes lit up. He nodded solemnly, though I knew he was lying. Tony was a fireman, but he didn't exactly walk around in his fireman get-up, and as far as I knew, Declan had never seen Tony anywhere near a fire truck. But Declan was hooked.

When we arrived at the restaurant for lunch, Declan was waking up from a short nap. But immediately he asked groggily, "Where's the fireman?"

When we entered the front door, he asked, "Is the fireman inside?"

When we sat down at a table after greeting the staff, he asked, "Is the fireman coming?"

Of course, when the fireman showed up, in jeans and a sweatshirt, looking very un-fireman-like, Declan lost interest. But his interest in the rest of his past grew.

He quickly remembered his rapport with Kim, the former manager (who he used to call "Mimi" thanks to limited verbal skills). And he lost no time with Jenn, the former server (and artist) who drew pirate and sea pictures to his heart's desire. Erika, who was working, soon had trouble keeping Declan away from her so she could actually work.

But it was the fireman who won his heart in the end, after bringing us next door to the firehouse and taking us all for a ride on the fire truck. Declan even got to try on Tony's boots and helmet.

Ronan, who was just 3 months old when we left Boston, certainly didn't remember anyone. But he made some new memories, and I know that next time we go back (which hopefully will be sooner than 1 1/2 years) he'll make some more. And though Declan might not have many memories of the long days he spent with his dad at the pub, the people with whom he spent those days will become part of the fabric of his past, and will always be carried with him.

Especially the fireman.


Anonymous said...

LOVE that picture of the the way do you kow who yukapuk is?????????

Keri said...

Of course! I hear we might see you in June?