Friday, May 11, 2012


I saw my son on TV last night.  It was one of those community affairs programs and he was speaking as a Board Member of a local charity.  He looked good, dressed in one of his fancy banker suits, and his smile was as engaging on camera as it is in person.  He sounded confident and at ease as he answered the moderator's questions and I listened proudly while he talked about the organization and how the community could offer support.  But my eyes zeroed in on a tiny, almost invisible, line not far above his left eye - a souvenir from a collision with the coffee table when he was three. 

Afterwards, I thought about it and realized I'd actually searched for that tiny scar.  It look me a while to figure out why.

The successful banker/charity board member is someone I love very much, someone who lives in a world that I happily visit but have never lived in. This is the man my son grew into, the life he created for himself long after he left the nest.  If I looked hard enough at the image on the screen, I could almost see the teenager he had been, but there was no sign of the little boy who once shared my world with me. 

That little boy lives in my memories, he's there in a thousand photographs, but sometimes it's hard to find the boy inside the man.  I think that tiny scar has become a touchstone for me, a constant that provides a link to days long ago.   

So even while I watched the handsome man on TV, admiring his poise and taking pride in how well he spoke, I found that tiny scar...and saw my little boy.

So, how about you?  What touchstones do you have in your life?  What kinds of things provide you with a link to another time or place?  

Oh, in case you're looking - you can't see the scar in this picture.  It's just under his hair. 

Groaner of the Day:  A young boy had a job bagging groceries at a supermarket. One day the store manager had a machine installed for squeezing fresh orange juice.

The young lad was most intrigued by this machine, and he asked if he would be allowed to run it, to make the juice. The manager refused, and the boy demanded to know why.

"Sorry, kid," the manager explained, "but baggers can't be juicers."


Angela Brown said...

LOL!! Baggers can't be juicers!
Had to slap my knee on that one.

My little one is still in the early stages, still my baby girl even though she always reminds me she isn't a baby anymore. So I suppose I'll have to let her continue growing to see what she'll have as a touchstone for me when she becomes a beautiful woman with a life all her own.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I don't have kids, so there's nothing like that I can look for to remember. I just have to rely on photos.

LD Masterson said...

Diane, I don't think it has to be a person. My mother's knick knacks, the little things she always kept, made every house she lived in - whether I'd lived there or not - home.

LD Masterson said...

Angela - Enjoy every minute while you have her with you.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Trust me, there's a little boy in there somewhere. We never lose him completely!
Music is my connection.

LD Masterson said...

Alex - Yes, music is a good one for me, too.

Maria Zannini said...

For me, it's the dogs. I remember a park we'd stop at regularly after every chemo treatment for our rottie, Isis, or the scummy pond our pristine white samoyed jumped into--right after her bath.

There are sad moments too, wounds still raw even after decades. They define us as well as our loved ones.

Karin said...

For me it is food--those special dishes we shared, the comfort food, and favorite treats. Taste is powerful memory trigger and suddenly transports me to another time and place.

Love the groaner!


LD Masterson said...

Maria - I guess touchstones can connect us to the happy and the sad. Seek out the ones that bring back the happy.

LD Masterson said...

Karin - Zipper skin tangerines! The only time we got one when I was a kid was Christmas, in the toe of our stockings. And chocolate milk from the bottle will always remind me of moving day. Whenever we were moving into a new house, the local milkman would stop by to get us signed up on his route. They always left a bottle of chocolate milk as a free welcome gift. It was the only time we ever got it. Major treat.

Darke Conteur said...

I know the story behind each of Sithboy's scars. Most of them were done when he was little and they always take me back. Another one is the small knick-knacks that you used to get in Tetley tea. My grandmother used to collect them and when ever I see them (usually in a second-hand store) I think about her every time. :)

LD Masterson said...

Darke - Kids' scars and knick knacks... isn't it amazing how they stay in our minds?

Mike Keyton said...

That is spooky. Our son hit the edge of a coffee table when he was three and has a scar in the exact same place. There must be some murderous coffee tables out there, alien artefacts luring the vulnerable.

Ref keepsakes, we have a stuffed dog I won't get rid off but best of all a collection of videos of both him and his sister to show at their respective weddings - though if I do, the murderous coffee table may be coming for me.

LD Masterson said...

Mike - Hmmm. I thought the kids did this sort of stuff just to make us crazy. Never thought of it being a coffee table conspiracy. Interesting.

Family videos are the greatest blackmail device ever invented.