Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Remember Me

I can hear my girls over the monitor talking to each other and laughing as they fall asleep.  If I close my eyes, it could be me in the dark with my sister, wrapped up in my sheets because I've always been weird about being completely covered - I had some idea that demons couldn't get me if I had blankets up to my chin, and my mouth closed.  I used to think he could read my secrets on my teeth.  I try to remember things like that when they cry at night.  It might not make sense to me at all, but it is real to them.

I try to remember that this is their childhood.  The things we do each day, the lunches I make, the activities I say "yes" to and the ones I say "no" to, the tone of voice I use when they make messes and don't clean it up, and the voice I use when they do clean it up... these are the building blocks of their childhood.  When they are grown and people ask them what it was like, they will think back on these days, and the cumulative, collective memory will be not the once in a lifetime trip to Disneyworld, but the routine, the constant ebb and flow of our habits and choices.

I think about how I want them to answer when people ask them what their mother was like.  I want them to say things like, "oh, she always had fresh cookies in the cupboard."  But then, I have to always be baking more cookies and then have the strength to not eat all of them once they are in bed.  So we bake cookies sometimes, but not enough that I think it will make it into the commentary of their childhood.  I daydream about having a magazine worthy yard and garden.  I imagine myself out there in rain or shine, snow sleet or hail, weeding and pruning and beautifying my little space on God's green earth.  But then, I'd have to be out there in all that awful weather, and even if I was willing to do that, what would my babies be doing?  And so I have dead grass and a handful of tulips.

I'd like for them to say that I always had church eyes - that's what Hallie calls it when I wear makeup and get dressed.  I guess she thinks I only do that for church, which is mostly right.  So unless people asked her what her mother was like going to church...

I guess I don't really know what they will say about me and their childhood when they are grown, but I hope the one thing they will say is "I know she loves me."


  1. They will remember how you made them feel, but children also have an amazing ability to forgive and forget, so don't freak out about a bad day here and there. You are right, it's the cumulative memory. And don't forget that you can shape that memory by talking about and reinforcing with conversations the things you want them to remember too. For example, "Today was a good day wasn't it? Remember when . . . " or even, "It didn't seem very good when ______ happened today, but what do we want to remember about it?"

  2. They will definitely remember that you love them. I'm surprised by how little I remember about my childhood, but I definitely know that Mom and Dad loved me. Sometimes my life before Indiana just seems like a big blur with a few short remembrances here and there. And honestly, most of my memories involve you rather than Mom and Dad. So good job on giving your children siblings to play with and remember. :)

    You're a fabulous mom.