The Power of Memories

I like to think I have a decent memory, regardless of how much evidence exists to the contrary. Since Liliana arrived, however, I’ve realized that I had forgotten many of the fun things I had learned when I was young.

Sure, I’d remembered Weeble Wobbles and cardboard boxes. I’d remembered various toys my brother (along with other small children) had broken. I’d remembered how I loved the water wings that the kid from the other apartment had let me borrow so I could go swimming in the pool of the apartment complex, although when I think back now, I realize his parents were probably the ones that let us borrow them.

I had forgotten some things though too. About a month ago, I was giving Liliana a bath and remembered a washcloth trick that my mother had taught me. I had worked so hard when I was little to learn how to do it, but I hadn’t tried it in many years.

Luckily, I could still manage it, even with Liliana’s itty bitty washcloths. Here’s what you do:

1. Wet the cloth.

2. Make a fist.

3. Lay the cloth over the fist and slowly lower your hand underwater, making sure the edges touch the water first.

4. Using your other hand to make sure the edges of the washcloth remain lower than the rest of it, gather the edges together while removing your fist. The result should be a balloon of air.

5. Don’t let go of the edges, but move the cloth bubble underwater. It should hold the air as long as it remains under the water and doesn’t bump anything.

6. Squeeze it and watch thousands of little bubbles rocket through the cloth to the surface!


I felt so cool when I showed Liliana this trick, and she thought it was neat. Unfortunately for my ego, the rubber duck won the contest for her attention because she could eat it.

A similar thing happened today when I remembered the wonders of those doorstops that are built into the wall. I showed her how it made a fun sound if you stretched the spring and let go. I used to play with that thing for what seemed like hours: Boing! Boing! Boing! 

She didn’t seem quite as interested at first, so I thought she might still be too young to really appreciate it.

I just found out I was wrong.

What have I done?