No, don’t worry, I am not going to sully this blog with some boring American Idol commentary about how bad the dread lock guy’s rendition of Memory was this week, and how he said, “A cat sings this song? I had no idea.” (More bad use of quotes since that is just what I vaguely remember him saying, and not what he actually said.)
No, I want to write about memories of real people that I actually know, like my children. I was putting Jack to bed last night and he fell asleep in my arms. He really snuggles into the crook of my arm, with one arm around my waist and the other grabbing the neck of my sweater with his fist. He has quite a grip, and today I started calling him Pinchy. His cheeks were rosy, eyes were closed, and he smelled sweet. I noticed all of this out of the corner of my eye because, while I was holding him with one arm, I was holding my book with another. I tend to read a lot. When I turned 16, I sat in the driver’s seat of my parents minivan and looked out the window for the first time. I didn’t know how to get around town, but I had gotten a lot of reading done over the years.
I can remember painting a sign with my grandma that she hung on the door for my mom to see when she came home from the hospital with my baby sister. I was three and my job was to paint little evenly spaced lines of green across the bottom to represent grass. My lines got bigger, longer, spaced further apart and, in general, messier as they crossed the page. My grandma said, “Oh no! Paint the grass like this.” I looked at her grass and my grass and thought, “It looks easier than it is.” The point of this story is that I have a great memory. I am the official expert on everything that ever happened. I am so good at remembering things that some people think I just make stuff up.
So you’d think that I would not need to worry about whether or not I am going to have vivid memories of everyday life with my baby. But my worrying skills rival my memory, I’m that multi-talented. Currently, when I try to ingrain a tender moment into my brain, I also think of memories of Luke. I probably have 3 or 5 or maybe only 1o vivid memories of nursing Luke. So I worry that I am doing too much reading and not enough memorizing of every moment with Jack. Pictures help, but this morning when I tried to capture the look on Jack’s face when I went in to get him in the morning instead of capturing 1000 words I got maybe 5. Those 5 words were “Oh. there’s the camera again.” What I was trying to capture was that his eyes are still blue, with a glint of joy, a little devil, that he was happy to see me, but also that he had been content to look at the mobile before I got there, and maybe wants to glance back at the mobile right this second; a shade of worry passes over his brow, but then it’s gone as he breaks out into a big smile, which is also fleeting, and then he’s overcome with the joy that one can attain only by seeing how much blanket can be crammed into ones mouth, and then I snap the picture. OK, words aren’t going to do it either. But the process of trying to come up with the words or the picture may be what helps me with the memory.
And I guess if I have 10 vivid memories of Luke five years later, that’s pretty good. And I did a lot of reading when he was a baby too.