Do you have any vivid memories of your mom wearing pajamas when you were small?
Did she wear a cozy, flannel nightgown or did she like to cook breakfast in her satin pajamas? Maybe she preferred the diaphanous glamour of a lacy peignoir set, Mad Men style. Whatever your mom’s style, chances are you have some strong memories related to her choice of nightwear.
My own mother wore flannel nightgowns in winter. Most days she dressed before breakfast, but on Christmas morning we’d all stay in our pajamas as we opened our stockings – Mom in her nightgown and red zip-front robe. My brothers and I wore the brand new pajamas Santa had left by the fire the night before. I don’t know why we never questioned that Santa stopped at our house on Christmas Eve – and none of our friends’. I have to give Mom credit, it was a clever way to get us into our pajamas and ready for bed despite our growing excitement on the most anticipated night of the year.
It’s interesting how feelings from childhood persist. Proust was right. In his novel, Remembrance of Things Past, the narrator tastes a tea-soaked madeleine cookie which causes him to have memories of childhood that he’s never had before. Proust coined the term “involuntary memories” for remembrances like these which are evoked by the sensations of objects, and he believed they contain the “essence of the past”.
I don’t know about “essence of the past”, but I do know there are some things which can transport me back more years than I dare to count. The smell of Estee Lauder Youth Dew perfume always reminds me of my mother – and particularly the secure feeling of her hugging me tight. Then there’s Mom’s mock pecan pie – made with pecans, Ritz Crackers, and lots of whipped cream. One bite and I am back at the dinner table feeling full and content at the end of a holiday meal.
So, what’s your tea-soaked madeleine? We’d love to hear what brings you back to wonderful memories of mom and childhood. Whether it’s making her favorite pie, or smelling her signature perfume, let us know in the comments section.
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