Birthdays bring back memories…

How Birthdays bring back memories…

It’s interesting how our memories ebb and flow.

And it’s very intriguing how on specific calendar dates,  people from the past show up and places come back and scents and sounds come alive… like a river after the rain.

Birthdays are especially good for memories.  And for a parent, birthdays are all the more, I think, conducive for the high tide of memories.

Yesterday, my daughter Audrey turned 34.  I remember May 23, 1978 like I’m standing in it today.  But the day, the date, even all those years ago, also creates a swirl of magical energy that brings back memories of my child from so many moments, so many days, all through these many, many years… all little pieces of her life’s great puzzle.

Audrey’s birthday had me thinking, smiling, remembering… and mostly, laughing.

Audrey is one of the funniest people on earth.  One look, one word, one line, one text message will belly-laugh me every single time.  Her wit, her observations, her timing, her reactions… lightning quick, impeccable, comedic genius.

This characteristic is the perfect contrast to Audrey’s deep, deep focus, vision, love of life and her people in it, determination, dedication, will, strength and drive to create, to become, to invite success to herself and everyone around her.  To be precise.  To direct.  I’ve watched wheels constantly turning in Audrey’s head, since forever.

Audrey is just like her Dad.  2 Perfect Geminis.

But anyway… yesterday, my laughter memories landed on a 4th grade note that Audrey had written to her Dad and me.  She had just begun her stint in what our little town-at-the-time called Middle Highway Elementary School.  This was a new concept in town… taking the 4th & 5th graders from each of 3 elementary schools and putting them all in one school.  Upper Elementary, if you will.

Of course, there was a Parents’ Night, Open House kind of thing early in the school year.

Audrey was excited for us to see her new school, and Barry and I were excited to attend.  We were to report to Homeroom, where we would learn some things about the new school from the Homeroom teacher, review some of our child’s work and find our child’s daily schedule to follow during the evening.

Sounded about right for an Open House.

But Audrey had gone a tad further with her precise, direct, hysterically funny hand-written instructions.  I remember trying to hold in my laughter as I sat at her little desk in Ms. Marcowitz’s Homeroom.

Of course, I saved Audrey’s schedule and note all the way from 4th grade, albeit a little worn with age…

Page 1


Page 2

It reads like this (exactly):

Dear Mom and Dad,

Here it is your very first Open House at My New School (Middle Highway Elementary).  I would like you to go in this order

1. Homeroom
2. Math
3. Lang. Arts
4. Socail {sic} Studies
5. Science

Also if you go by my locker my number is 194 it is right of set of set of lockers across from Ms. Marcowitz Room. I want you to relax. Don’t really ask a lot of questions. Well I really got to go. Bye,


P.S. Write back
P.P.S. 843 round to the nearest tens
P.P.P.S. Meet all my teachers
P.P.P.P.S Look at my mobil {mobile} and be proud
P.P.P.P.P.S. Don’t use the Lavs!!! If emergency I guess so
P.P.P.P.P.P.S. I Love You

I can see Audrey as a little 4th grader, the grand master of her own world even back then… letting us know exactly what she wanted us to do.

I can feel Audrey’s great love of learning and her pride in her work.

I can touch the love that jumps off the pages!

But most of all, I can hear her funny I can hear her laughing as she gives us a random Math problem, tells us to be proud of her mobile and warns us about the Lavs.

I can see Audrey’s eyes twinkling as she writes to relax and don’t ask a lot of questions… knowing full well, even as a child, that the parents in that particular town asked infinitesimal questions about teachers and levels and reading groups and math groups and what’s-the-highest-group and is-my-child-in-the-highest-group, etc., etc., etc.  Yep.  Barry and I could just relax!

I laughed back then at Audrey’s wit and wisdom.

And I’m still laughing today.

I love birthdays.  I love the ebb and flow of memories.

I love that Audrey came to us 34 years ago yesterday… because I haven’t stopped laughing since!




Birthdays bring back memories… was last modified: May 24th, 2012 by Sharon Couto
SHOWHIDE Comments (3)
  1. Perfect tribute about your perfect daughter. I love that you saved her open house schedule/letter. That cracked me up about not using the Lav. And yes, you are so right about the ebb and flow of memories.

  2. Oh, Rhonda… thank you so very much! We know a bit about beautiful
    daughters and birthdays and memories, don’t we! xo!

  3. I love reading all your stories…Audreys letter is so cute. I also love that you saved this for all these years. Your such a wonderful Mom and because of that you have two wonderful daughters.

Birthdays bring back memories… was last modified: May 24th, 2012 by Sharon Couto