My corner

Cat’s in the cradle

by Flamingo

February is a hard month. It’s cold and grey, not cold enough to snow but cold enough to feel that chill in my bones. It’s cold in my heart as well, it’s the month my grandmama passed away a few years ago. It doesn’t get easier with the passing of time, like they say. Whenever I think of her, I think of my childhood, because she was such a big part of it. I think about my whole family around that time, 20-30 years ago.

I had a golden childhood. I consider myself lucky enough to have been surrounded by a lot of love from my parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins and lots and lots of close family friends and cats. As the time passed my familiar circle became smaller and smaller, being marred by death, divorce, fights, sadness and moves to far away places. 

My childhood memories are my cozy place I go to in that little moment between being awake and falling asleep. Like the lyrics of one beloved song go, “cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon/Little boy blue and the man in the moon”, this is where I go to to feel better. Although I don’t have a Little boy blue or The Man in the moon as a reference, I have Sinatra’s Strangers in the night and Lassie. (The meaning of the song is something else entirely, while these particular lyrics resonate differently to me personally).

I can still remember the feeling of the tall grass tickling my feet whenever I was searching for mushrooms with my granny in the forest, while my grandpa was tending to his bees.

I can still hear the twinkling of river water flowing right by our picnic blanket on hot summer days and the laugh of my younger cousins playing ball with my father and uncle. 

I can still smell the vanilla and raisin cookies my mother used to bake after a fun day of going ice skating with my dad. 

I can still see our beautiful Christmas tree standing proud in our small living room and all the family and friends’ Christmas dinners and lunches that would go on and on for a couple of weeks. Not to mention the fun I had on every New Year’s when my parents allowed me to stay up all night and dance with everybody at the party. 

I can still laugh when I read the funny Russian animal fairy tales my grandmama left me, because I can just remember the joy I felt when she was reading them to me 30 something years ago. My uncle playing the mandolin and doing all kinds of pranks and my pregnant aunt playing board games with me are some of the fondest memories I have in my grandmama’s house. 

I can still feel the big rough hand of my granddaddy engulfing mine, while he was navigating me through the farmers market looking for the freshest spring onions and lettuce. 

I can still taste the first fries I ever made for my little cousin while I was babysitting her after school and how fast she gulped them down. 

I can still hear the meowing of my first two cats and feel their soft white fur on my fingertips.

This feeling I have whenever I think of my childhood is the same warm feeling I have after reading a fairy tale. It’s like it never happened. 

Photo from Pexels