"You're not going to remember any of it anyway," was what she said. I felt like she had just socked me in the stomach. I hadn't really thought about that before, but forgetting makes perfect sense. I do it all the time.

But this? I'm not going to remember this? I guess she would know, she's been through it.

The sleepless nights, the loads of diapers and laundry, the tantrums, the baths, the food flung across the floor. Those are the things she was referring to, saying I'd forget them . She was meaning to encourage me. And yes, I don't really mind that I'll forget all of that. I will enjoy my hindsight rose-colored glasses when they arrive years from now.

But I would gladly remember all of the stress and strain, fatigue and frustration vividly if it meant I would remember all the rest just the same.

Because it makes me sad to realize that I'm also bound to forget the beauty of these years. That fresh out of the bath smell. That toothy grin. The way Miles says 'careful' about five different ways, all of them hilarious. The wiggle of Asher's shoulders as he does a little dance. The pudgy little fingers holding tight to that blankie. Those pouty little lips. That laugh. Oh, that laugh from the gut that surrounds you and makes you feel hugged. I will miss that. I don't want to forget.

She said that even though she had pictures and videos, it wasn't the same. She still couldn't remember on her own. The pictures were reminders, but not experiences. The videos seemed to be of a child she no longer knows, because she can't remember.

I suppose it's like my own childhood memories, vague and a bit fuzzy around the edges. Some more vivid, but always fleeting. Like a dream you wake up from and try to get back to by quickly closing your eyes and willing yourself to remember, but slipping away. I suppose it's like that.

I wish I was going to be able to remember it all. Miles and I running through puddles in a down pour at the Farmer's Market, splashing and laughing. Miles a little unsure at first, then looking at me, reading my face and relaxing, letting himself have fun in the rain. His drenched hair and wide eyes. The slap slap slap of his shoes as he ran. The smell of rain, herbs and flowers in the air as I listened to the thunder and my son's laughter. Oh, how I want to remember.

"You're not going to remember it anyway."

I thought about this so much and my heart would just break at the realization that I'm going to forget.

Then I thought about the future, pictured myself sitting there trying to remember. I imagined it and realized that the mom in that photo in my mind wasn't sad. This Future Me wasn't sad. Because these two boys were still there, making new memories with me. They were 6 and 8 or 16 and 18. They were 30 and 32. And I imagined how I will still be there, wanting to eat up every moment, pouring my love on them and watching their lives.

Even if I'm not going to remember it all, I want to live it all. There's not a thing I want to miss. Maybe I'll be blessed with a good memory in this regard, maybe I won't. But that will not stop me from living fully aware of the details and fine lines, the tones and the under-tones, the expressions and vivid moments full of life and laughter. The scrunched up nose and crocodile tears. The look in their eyes while they make new discoveries. The feel of their skin. The sound of their voices. Right now. Today.

I am living what I might forget. But I am still going to live it. As long as they are mine to hold in this life, I will live it with them. That makes all the sad thoughts of forgetting turn to happy thoughts of living, eyes turned toward today rather than yesterday. And a heart filled with joy in the expectancy of tomorrow.

But that doesn't mean I can't hope that I'll remember.


  1. sweet post, heather.

    whenever i'm lucky enough to be reminded to "take in this moment and sear it in to my memory's vault", i try hard to absorb it with all my senses.
    even still, there's an almost melancholy realization that i will only soak up so much. perhaps nothing is truly unforgettable. maybe that's part of the human curse.
    and yet, as you say, we still ought to live out those moments earnestly despite the risk of memory loss.
    it's worth it.

  2. Love this post Heather. The moments are truly fleeting. I have one of the worst memories imaginable. I know exactly how you are feeling. What a wonderful reminder though. Cherishing every moment. Living life to its fullest and teaching your kids to do the same.
    Thank you!

  3. This is such a beautiful reminder! I have been writing a post very similar to this (not nearly as eloquent, I am sure) in my head for a while now.

    I can remember with my first born, being in the thick of sleep deprivation and struggling through her colic that was absolutely exhausting. I remember looking into veteran moms eyes and asking questions like, "Did your baby cry for 5 hours straight at night?" Or, after delivery when I was unable to walk without searing pain, asking, "How long does it hurt like this?"

    The answer was usually, "You know, I don't remember." Or, "Don't worry, you will totally forget how hard it is now. You won't even remember."

    I was so amazed that these super low lows that I was feeling - the sleep deprivation that felt like I was one step away from a nervous breakdown at moments, and the sheer exhaustion of navigating a new role that felt so different than I expected - that I would forget THIS.

    But, I have had the same experience happen. I sort of remember the general fogginess of that season. But, I don't REMEMBER like I thought I would.

    At the same time, all those shining moments of babyhood and all those feelings that I thought I could never forget, I am forgetting. I can remember sitting and nursing my babies, but I cannot remember how they smelled or exactly how they were snuggled against me. It is like their babyhood is a breeze blowing through my house. It moves quickly and before you know it passes through the screen door on its way out with a slam. It is gone almost as quickly as it arrived.

    I am thankful for the reminder to be present. To cherish each season, because each season brings its own beautiful moments.

    Thank you for this!

  4. Every few days I check the "fat pads" om my five year olds knuckles to be sure they are still there. You know, those chubby little dimples on their hands? I read somewhere they dissappear around 5 years of age. Once they are gone I want to be able to say I remember when he was still "The Baby". Why do I do this....becasue I missed the dissappearance of those fat pads on my older two. I can't recall when they ceased to be babies and started to be kids. Some friends and I were just talking about this the other day. When was the actual date and time we nursed our child for the last time? If I had known it would be the last, shouldn't I have marked it down so I would always remember? When was the last time they got Happy Meals insted of big kids meals at McDonalds? I just don't remember. And so for this one ,my baby, who still doesn't have a single thing written in his baby book , I will remember when it was he went from being a baby to a kid.

  5. You made me cry. Shame on you. Don't let it happen again. (Beautifully, beautifully written.)

  6. Wonderfully put. As a sleep deprived, potty-training, car finding, tear wiping Mom, this was exactly what I needed to read today. Thanks.

  7. I am just loving these comments because of how they add so much to what I was thinking when I wrote this post.
    Thank you all for adding to these thoughts. You've all said it so well.
    Ali, I LOVE what you added, wish I could take the time to slide it right into the post. The breeze through the screen door...ugh.

    and I swordsandswimmers idea of looking at their chubby little fingers and watching them change. Just to pay attention! LOVE that.

    And all that Drew said...



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