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Then: Yesterday's Leftovers

Now: Today's Memories

Just yesterday I was a thirty-two year old mom with a year old daughter and toddling nieces and nephews.  Going to Grandma's house meant packing up the car on a Sunday with dirty laundry and excited kids for day a at my mother's house.  Treasures awaited my daughter inside her grandma's peach colored walls.  Napkin drawers and jewelry drawers.  Drawers with old make up, drawers full of boxes of colored scarves.  Drawers of old playing cards.  And that very special drawer.  The one with the Tupperware.  

Today, going to Grandma's house means coming to my house, a concept I'm still trying to get my mind around.  But it's one that my heart's been wrapped around ever since the day my daughter told me she was pregnant.

From that moment I couldn't wait to meet my grandchild.
Now, when my sixteen-month-old granddaughter runs up my driveway, shouting out something which I'm sure means Grandma, holding out her tiny arms, and smiling at me with eyes as big as silver dollars, nothing else in the world matters.  Nothing.

And inside my house there is a napkin drawer, a make-up drawer, cupboards full of boxes with crackers and cookies, and that all important drawer—the one with the Tupperware.
These containers, big and small, round and square, tall and short, are just waiting for her tiny hands to carry them to the center of the living room, to the center of her imagination.

She giggles.  And with that giggle she unlocks my imagination.


The living room becomes a planet faraway in another galaxy.  The hallway is the road twisting around the moon.  The laundry basket is a washing machine ride, just the right size for a small child.

The bed is a gigantic elephant lumbering through the jungle.  And the Tupperware bowls, well, they are funny round animals or the walls of a castle or odd shaped shoes taking us from Zanzazu to Appazoid.

They are vehicles taking us into the sixth dimension- into a place where there is no time, where there are no boundaries, no limits.  To look at us, we are a grandma and granddaughter playing with everyday plastic containers.  To be us, we are so much more.

Her energy carries me through the afternoon.  And then all too soon, it is time for her to leave.

As she toddles out my door, she takes a part of me into her future.  And I collapse on the couch, still smelling her sweet, clean promising scent—already missing her, already eager for her next visit.

As I relax, memories rush at me. I see my daughter playing with her grandmother and now I understand that look I would see on my mother's face.  It was more than a smile.  Her whole body was singing.

As mine is now.

And that bodysong stays with me as I pick up the space ship bowls. Put the washing machine away.  Scoop up the magic planets.  Stack the jungle lions one on top of the other.
Lastly and reluctantly, I close the Tupperware drawer.  Because I know, as does my mother, that a Tupperware container's primary use is not for storing leftover food.

It's for keeping memories.

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