Our senses can do some pretty miraculous things. Not only do they let us see, smell, hear and (sometimes) taste the world around us…they also let us remember what the world around us used to be like for a brief moment.
For instance, the smell of fresh cut grass takes me back to summer in the 90’s. Or the song Kokomo by the Beach Boys and the smell of licorice takes me back to rollerskating around Warnoco West. Any of my Greeley peeps remember the Snowball skate, or the Birthday Bear?
Anyway, I remember when my Grandma passed away, I kept one of her sweatshirts so that I could always remember the way that she smelled. There’s no words for me to explain what the smell is like (it’s gone from the sweatshirt now), but whenever I get a large black trash bag and open it up…the smell is there, for an instant and then it goes away. No, my grandma did not smell like a trash bag, but whenever it happens, I can’t help but smile.
The other day, my son Elijah was playing with his Legos. You see, he keeps most of them in a red plastic box that my brother Chris handed down to him a few years ago. The red box was also handed down with all of Chris’ old Legos in there as well. Needless to say, Elijah has taken very good care of the box and all of the Legos that came along with it. After all, it is from the 80’s, so it must be an antique, right?
Elijah plays with these Legos on a daily basis, as I’m sure my brother did too. I sat down to play with Elijah, and I noticed a piece of paper. I pulled it out and it was a little Sweet Tart candy wrapper. Immediately I thought, “Geez, Elijah this is not the trashcan!” But as I looked closer, I noticed that the wrapper said 1987. It was a candy wrapper from when my brother was just a kid.
All of these years…All of the hands that have been in and out of that Lego box, the wrapper managed to stay in there.
It was at that moment that I saw young Caiti sitting cross-legged on the blue carpet next to my brothers, with the red Lego box open. I could hear the rustle of the Legos as Corey and Chris were looking for the perfect piece. We then moved from playing Legos to tractors to the Lite-Brite and then to He-Man and Shera. We even briefly played with my Barbie mansion (but, I promised I wouldn’t tell anyone). We were laughing, I just couldn’t tell what we were laughing about.
Then, I heard the rustle of the Legos again. I blinked and there I was, sitting next to my son Elijah again. By this time, my other two were also looking for the perfect Legos piece in the box: just as I had seen my brothers and I doing.
It was a 1987 candy wrapper that took me back to my childhood, doing one of my favorite past times…playing with my two older brothers. They were my best friends.
I remember as a kid, always being a little envious of my friends who had sisters. That sisterly bond that I never got to experience growing up. But looking back, to me, the relationship that I had with my brothers meant so much more.
It was that candy wrapper, that reminded me how lucky I was (and still am) to have a bond with two of the greatest men that I know.
A silly wrapper.
A wrapper that (not only used to be the home of some of my favorite candies) but a wrapper that embodies everything that I want for my kids. A relationship with their siblings that will stand the tests of time. And, maybe someday in their future, they’ll have a little reminder. Something that they will hear, smell, see, touch or taste, and that will make them look back…and just smile.