When a child is conceived I believe that it is not just the genetic makeup that constructs that map of who the child will be, but also the mothers own personal memories. How else can you explain traits in a child passed on by a loved one who wasn't related by blood?
Memories are pill capsules filled with strong medicine. The kind that can either burn going down, or put the taste of nostalgia on your tongue.
I ask you, if stress can affect a child in the womb... then why not all of the mothers repeated thoughts, memories, and special mind fragments that make up who she is as a person?
My middle son eats mint. Not gum, candy, or breath fresheners... although he likes them too, but the jagged edge leaf that I've intentionally put into my garden time and time again. He's had a love for it way before I ever explained the specialty that it holds in my heart.
I think about my grandparents a lot. And if you've read my blog for a very long time now, you'll know that I write about them pretty often (haven't in awhile though), and my recollections surrounding the time I spent with them. They were the kind of grandparents you read about in story books and ooshy gooshy magazine articles that seem too good to be true. I was really blessed.
My son forgot to brush his teeth before he left for school and so being the creative kid he is, ran to the garden and picked several mint leaves, chomping them up and turning them into fragrant mouth mash the smell instantly took me away.
How lucky are we as humans to be able to do this? To smell something, or hear something, and suddenly trigger a remembrance within, temporarily forgotten?
I believe memories are triggered at the right time, exactly when you need them, and possibly by the spirit of a loved one that has passed away. It's their way of communicating, saying without physicality... "I'm here, and I love you, do you remember?".
The best things in life are the ones you can't 100% explain, but somehow know to be true.
My son passed me a mint leaf, knowing how much I enjoy them too and (trigger) I realized I had never truly told him exactly why mint was/is, so special. Other than that it was related to my grandparents that is.
And so lifting it to my nose, I inhaled the leaf deeply (noticing that it was a heart shaped leaf), got a little choked up (if I'm honest), and told him how mint used to grow wild around my grandparents pond next to the periwinkle blue of the forget me nots. How I would lie on my belly catching pond life with a pasta strainer on a stick. How I picked it for my tin pail (which I still have) and make a tadpole habitat. My grandfather taught me what the plant was and we made tea because we could, even though it was strong scented... the making was all of the fun. When my 'pa pa' mowed the lawn on his huge handmade tractor, he chopped the herb up into it's blades, scattering the aroma airborne.
I keep photos of when my pa pa was young on my art studio table/wall so I can see him all of the time. He wasn't my biological grandfather, no... but the only thing I remember as one (he was my grandfathers mail man ha ha) because my biological grandfather passed when I was very young.
I have mint in the garden, and when we hike and perchance if find some... we smell and taste it my son and I. There is a teensy 12 inch square patch that grows in the back of our lawn mid-summer that I refuse to mow. You should see me on my big riding mower fanangling around this tiny bit of nostalgia (I also mow around the wild snapdragons).
And so yes, my son loves mint. And I imagine it is not a "just because" thing, but because when he was growing in my belly he soaked up all of my most important and happiest memories deep into his subconscious. He is so much like my grandfather, and so much like me as well. In my opinion, it was no accident, and I revel in the unexpected triggers that bring me back. Going back is the best part. Now my boy has my memories, and along with them his own. That's how ancestory works. How precious things are passed down to the next generation.
How simple it is to forget the things we want to remember. We must put extra effort into the remembering. And when we can not, may our subconscious's do all of the work. May it occasionally reward us with moments such as these.