Tuesday, April 5, 2011

I Know That Little Girl

Sometimes I forget to look back. I am so busy thinking about now, I forget about then. I forget that I am anybody but who I am now. A wife, a mother, a friend, an employee. I forget that I was someone, before I became all of those other people. It seems I only think about these strange things when I cannot sleep.

So, I get back out of bed. I find my faithful recliner. And I pick up my other friend who never seems to sleep either. As I unlock my secret hiding place, I find the place that holds all my other friends, and my thoughts. My serious, obnoxious, inane silly thoughts.

Tonight when I entered my "other" world, the first thing my eyes laid rest on, was a picture of me in a group setting with several other girls. A dance recital picture. A picture in full motion memory. Courtesy of my lovely friend Debbie Kincaid Carboni. I'm not sure which is more special, the memory itself, or the fact that she found the dance recital program in her mother's things. Her mother who recently passed away. Debbie and her sister have been carefully going through, sorting through, all of their mother's possessions for months now. And this dance recital program was amongst all of those things. That Debbie opened it, saw me, RECOGNIZED me, and thought enough of me to send it via mail, warmed my heart like nothing else could. I now have, not just a memory of myself, but a piece of Debbie and her mother that she chose to share with me.

As I sat and stared at this picture, I thought to myself, I remember that little girl. The little girl who was taking tap and ballet classes. The little girl whose mother had enrolled her in these classes in hopes of cultivating some grace in her walk and softness in her steps. I'm not really sure that ever happened. But I still know how to stand, walk, and sit like a lady, whether I do it all the time or not.

And then my eyes flit over to another picture from long ago. Again, I am surrounded by another group of girls. All of us are dressed in ugly, look-alike basketball uniforms. I am sitting on the floor, smiling. I remember that girl too. The two pictures are years and miles apart, and none of the people are the same. Except me. The only common denominator is me.

I remember the one season I played basketball. I was in Junior High School. I survived tryouts by a luck of the draw. One day during tryout practice, I hit 53 free throw shots at one standing. Never missing. I was on the team that day, though I would not know it for another week. I remember that girl, that season of my life.

As I watch my youngest son begin his life of dating, I become melancholy. As I watch Zach and his girlfriend,  the innocence and their obvious joy, it takes me back. To those days of my own. I find myself wistful for what was, and mindful of where I am. Although I am not that little girl anymore, somewhere, deep inside, she's still there. She still knows how it feels to be a teenager in love. She still knows how it feels to hold hands. To just simply hold hands, and the power that simplicity commands. She still gets that mushy, tingly feeling in her stomach when she sees the one she loves.

Would I want to go back in time? I don't think so. Every place I have already been and everything I have already done, is who I am. That same little girl was a intricate part of all of those things. She has gone everywhere with me. That little girl has been the voice inside of me since I knew who I was. She's the same little girl when she cries because her feelings are hurt, that she is when she is surprised and cries tears of joy. That little girl is me. Whether I'm wearing tap shoes, basketball shoes, or my pink rubber avon fishing shoes.

No, I don't want to go back in time. But it's nice to explore my memory bank. It's nice to look at old pictures and feel the rush of times gone by, pulsating through your mind. It's nice to feel your heart beat a little faster when you remember old flames and good times. It's nice to remember your own first date, first kiss, first boyfriend. And your first heartbreak. All of those things bring you where you are today. And wherever that is, is exactly where you are meant to be.

Goodnight little girl. It was nice talking to you again. I'm sure we'll visit again soon. For my mind never shuts down for very long. And the slightest breeze can always take me back, to a day from long ago and memories of a life gone by, that are never far away.

copyright © 2011 Michelle Mount Mims


  1. wonderful memories , love all of them and i always read them. love you too.

  2. Who is this?? Sorry...all the letters and numbers throw me....

  3. Great memories...love the pics, I always loved Radium Springs Junior High :)

  4. Aw so glad I made you happy ... memories are wonderful and lookin back at our past is just as you said ... what made us who we are today! Loved this GF!

  5. I too am trying to keep up love every line in every story.....I simply LOVE UUUU