Funny thing, history. Like a photograph, we set it in motion, then it’s done. Unchanging. It’s a timeline, with specific dates and references plodding along as we live our lives. Infinite points of reference.
Overnight on Oct. 29, it snowed. I worked late, and awoke early, to track the snowplows for the office. We turned the gas heat on, and made chili. On Oct. 31, 2012, we celebrated Halloween by trick-or-treating with the neighbors and visiting a friend’s party in the neighboring subdivision. We visited my parents on Saturday, Nov. 3, while your mom visited hers before they went back to Florida. You hiked the hills, played in the turnip patch, and found an antique bottle that my dad had unearthed with the dozer. On Election Day, Nov. 6, we watched as the debates ended and the nation united – despite fierce political differences that had mounted for months – to re-elect President Barack Obama.
Four significant events in an eight-year-old’s timeline. Which, then, will you recall with clarity? Could be the snow. You love snow. You play with it, slide on it, pelt me with snowballs. We’ve done it every year and I can still see the delight in your face looking out the window after each snowfall. It could be Halloween. Costumes, candy and friends. Enough said. Finding the bottle? Maybe. You clasped it like a prize for a few days, and as I write this it’s still in the windowsill.
The election is my best guess, though. Ever since your first presidential election, when mom taught you to say “Obama for your momma,” you’ve been inquisitive about who’s in charge of things, asking “who’s the boss of” our town, the school, the state and the like. Tuesday night, you kept coming back to the computer, to see which was higher, the blue votes or red votes. So, yeah, maybe that’s the bit of history that will stick in your head. Or, more than likely, it will be all of them. Your lucky. Your generation is the first with the ability to log each and every reference point, this blog a perfect example.
So, cherish your history, your timeline, little mouse. Keep it in the photo album of your mind. Look at it, scrutinize it, learn from it, but most importantly, smile at it. History is you.