Friday, June 1, 2012

The Ghosts of Boys Past

As I lifted the lid of another storage bin to sort through for our garage sale there it was.

A peachy-pink hued flower printed box stuffed full with memories of high school.

I knew it existed...of-course I did.  It was layered with paper thin pieces of me.  I'd seen it, peeked at it though not inside of it, a few times over the past dozen years but it wasn't until today that I decided to open That Memory Box.

And wow.  What an explosion of memories it was.

There were old movie stubs, dried flowers, a million pictures, cards, ticket stubs, some trinkets, two diaries...and letters.  Lots and lots of letters.

From friends old and some still current.  From ex-boyfriends.

I sat on the floor of my family room while my children, in turn, drove me bananas. I hugely reminisced...and cringed.  I also found poems that I wrote.  Tween-aged poems.  And they were not good.  Nooo.  In fact they were outwardly, flinch inducing BAD.  But I recall writing most of them.  With a heart heavy and stomach feeling full of stones.  Tears in my eyes and a shaky hand.

As adults we often mock and downplay our teenage angst.  It's like we didn't take that hormonal roller coaster of a ride in our life seriously.  But! If we were to go back live that time all over again (not in a million)...those feelings would be just as real.  Those breaks up would be just as heart splitting.  Those emotions would be just as raw.  Living those years? - were serious.  And fun.  And life altering.  And soul gutting.

Today, I didn't keep any of those love notes, letters, cards or poems...though that boy that wrote those dark, intense poems to me?  He was actually quite good.  At writing.

It was somewhat entertaining though at the same time a bit .... agonizing - to read back all the heartbreak I endured....and all the heartbreak I gave.  Those letters, cards, poems from boys past?  They didn't belong in my life anymore.  They didn't belong in my life 10 years ago. To keep them would be for my ego only.  Besides that, I never want my sons' to read about the heart torment I gave to their own kind. I know there will come a day when I will have to deal with their heart break.  When they feel as if their soul is about to shatter into a million pieces.  There is no escaping the fact that this will happen and my heart will also break along with theirs ten fold knowing exactly what they're going through.

I hope they know they can come to me.  I will never shrug off their hurt.  I will never just pat their backs and tell them there are plenty of fish in the sea.  I will never tell them to get over it - that they will look back years from now and laugh it off.  Because maybe?  Maybe they won't.  Heart break - whatever  the age - needs to be acknowledged and felt - really down deep in the soul felt.  I will always encourage that.  For then they can move forward, safely keeping those scars in the heart there, not outwardly seen but emotionally available - if only to teach their son's, their daughter's the same empathy.


Emily said...

I used to have a box like that, but I don't know what happened to it. I'd like to go through it again though. I could probably use a jolt of memory like that...I love that yours made you a more sympathetic parent!

Kristin said...

love this post. i have my box. on the rate occasion that i get to dive into it i get that rush of emotion that is boxed in tightly until opened. i love reflecting on my days of youth. the fact i have grown through the heartache and tears is awesome. such lessons our kids will learn if we teach them well. great share january.