Thursday, January 20, 2011

don't forget to remember

We forget so much as mothers. Of course we have to forget the pain of childbirth and the anxiety and exhaustion and crippling panicky moments of the first few months, at least enough to be willing to do it again. We forget how tiny they were, when exactly they rolled over back to tummy and tummy to back, how many times we washed yellowy newborn poop off of teeny weeny newborn onesies only to have them spit up on immediately after they came out of the dryer. We forget the name of the mother that we liked at the new mom group, even though we can remember their baby's name and when they (the baby... usually) had their last bowel movement and how they feel about breastfeeding in public. We forget what newborn baby feet smell like... before they start to smell like FEET (the true test of toddlerhood, in my opinion). We forget the mundane moments... and the miraculous ones.

Almost as remarkable as how much we forget as mothers is how much we remember.

We remember a whole new human. Their birthday (down to the minute), how much they weigh and how many inches long they are and how they rank compared to other growing little ones, the foods they like and the ones they throw at you in frustration and disgust, the words they know, the names of their friends (and the words they know and when they walked and ohmygodismybabybehindthatbabyamIaterribleparent?) and when the next playdate is. The words to the books you read over and over (and over) again, from Goodnight Moon to Yummy Yucky to My First Book of Colors. We remember how to translate "Sdat" to "What's that?" and we remember that it's important to try and answer every time, even when we've already told them too many times to count. We remember how much we've forgotten.

And then we remember to thank God that we live in the age of digital photography.

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