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Making Memories

by - Sunday, September 27, 2009

HandyMan and I were out at the Aberfoyle Antique Fair this weekend. I had hoped to meet up with Chris from Just Beachy blog, but we were both caught up trying to find some deals before the rain came in. Lucky Chris, she scooped some great buys! I bought one little thing, but its really cute - a little cross-stitch for Chloe's room.
I'll reframe it before I add it to her gallery wall. But this purchase got me to thinking - why do I spend so much effort decorating her room? I mean, she's only 5 months old and doesn't even have 20/20 vision yet. Does she care whether the fabrics on her curtains coordinate with her bedding? Can she even see the blue ceiling and sparkly chandelier? Would she even appreciate the time it took to build her closet or the thought that went into picking soft carpeting for her baby knees? I'm sure she will - someday.

Some of my most vivid childhood memories are of our house. It was the early 1970's... we had wood panelling in the living room, flocked damask wallpaper in the entry, and a vinyl orange banquette in the kitchen. My room was a pale pink. My bed was covered in floral sheets and I had a large Raggedy Ann doll made out of yarn hanging on the wall. I loved that room. I loved lying on the bed, reading my Encyclopedia Brown books, hearing the birds chirp in the tree outside my window.

Why is that I can barely remember my string of rental apartments from the 1990's but I can remember that old house in Georgetown with a striking clarity? I can remember how the sunlight came in through the bathroom window, setting the yellow room aglow. Or how on Saturday mornings I would turn on the record player in the den, hop on the teak coffee table and do my imitation of the Bay City Rollers (S-A-T-U-R, T-U-R-Tonight!
Okay, I know the lyrics are wrong. But that's what they sounded like to my 6-year old ears). And how much I loved doing somersaults in my parents round bed, the one covered in an itchy polyester white shag duvet.

I believe that memories of our childhood homes are the most memorable because they literally shaped our world. They teach us about colour and texture and feel. They educate us about style, on how furnishings and objects are put together. They show us the value of things - family photos displayed prominently, or Grandma's vintage crystal, safely tucked away. Layer that with memories of playing hide and seek in the basement, cooking with mom in the kitchen, and hosting make-believe tea parties in your bedroom... no wonder they are indelible!

I want Chloe to have the same kind of memories. I want her to understand that home is a haven, and a decorated home is a well-loved one. I want her to have that feeling of rushing home just so she can plop down on her bed, and revel in her own space. And so that is why we will continue to spend Saturdays in hardware stores or fabric shops or antique fairs, because every little purchase helps us into making this a Home Sweet Home.

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  1. You said that so beautifully. I am a very nostalgic person myself, and I couldn't agree more with all that you expressed.

    Continue to decorate, and make your lovely house into a home because we all love to see it :)

  2. Irene4:33 AM

    I'm a lurker but I just can't help but come out of hiding to tell you that I love your blog and that I truly believe in what you've said in this post. I think many of the memories I cherish most are of my childhood home -- the sunshine hitting the yellow walls, the translucent glow of the curtains, the little trinkets I didn't understand but somehow tucked away in my memory to look back upon and appreciate as an adult. I remember the feeling of contentment, the sense of both comfort and discovery that I had at home. I've been thinking about that a lot lately.

  3. Aww I think its great to start creating memories from now.... Or at least start creating the beautiful environment for her future childhood memories, besides you are so good I'm sure she already notices her awesome room :)

  4. Anonymous7:44 PM

    I don't comment much but I do read your blog and Just Beachy faithfully every day. I was at the Aberfoyle market on the weekend and was looking out for you and Chris but didn't see either of you. We did get some good finds though - a copper planter for the front porch, a wooden box for the dog to sleep in, some old comics and antique keys. It was fun.


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