We sometimes think we will never forget things. The moments that seem large in our minds will always seem large and we will never let them fade in that rearview mirror of our memory. And yet they always seem to shrink. We don’t quite remember the feel of our prom dresses or the moment of victory of earning a high mark in a class. We can’t quite put a finger on the feelings of freedom in those moments of driving alone after obtaining our driving licenses, or even the flutters of our first dates.
And yet, I know exactly how I felt when I held my first child in my arms. The precious weight of him as he slept and the relief I felt knowing he was finally here. I can recall the exact moment I felt him move inside me. I know the profound mourning that ripped through me when I lost our baby just as sincerely as I know the feeling I had when I found out we had conceived our little girl. It won’t matter how much time has elapsed, I can close my eyes and my heart’s memory can take me there.
This is the age my memory has been waiting for. This is the time that has loomed large on the horizon in all the years before when I thought the little memories would take up permanent residence in my mind. And just as time and thoughts of years past begin to fade away — as these things do — this is the age that remains vibrant.
My children’s ages seem to overlay on top of each other, like so many flip books. My son walks past the same countertop he once walked underneath, I see each age as he does so. He grows before my eyes and I see each memory of him with each step he takes. Through it all I can still feel him in my arms as I rocked him to sleep.
And my sweet baby, still so tiny, still moving into positions against me she held as a newborn fresh from NICU. She has only begun to forge these memories in my mind and yet there are so many already. She begins her own age of never forgetting.
I will never forget this time. I have pictures of proms and first dates, report cards with high marks and I’ve married my first date. But it’s this time, this age, that I cherish the most. It’s these moments of remembering when my son saying he loved me so much he wanted to keep me in his tummy and the times when my baby pats my face with her little hands, that make me grateful for this moment in my life.
This post is part of the two week Scintilla writing project where we share our histories by writing our stories. Bonus Day 4: What is it that you’re sure you’ll never forget about being this age, or an age of your choice?