Do you ever feel like time is just flying by way too quickly? Avery is already nearly four months old. Maysen is coming up on three years. And aparently Christina Aguilera hit the scene with Genie in a Bottle thirteen years ago. I only know this because I just heard it on the TV in the background.
There’s the quote that says something like “the days are long but the years are short”. It’s SO true. And, while I’m loving the moments in my girls’ lives, I also feel a little sad. I have a really lousy memory, so I’m always trying to take pictures of the little moments in our lives that make me happy to be a mommy. Of course I try to get photos of the happy moments as well. But I also try to capture the more challenging moments…like the temper tantrums in public restrooms, or the moment when, at a friend’s party, Maysen comes to me with black paint smeared around her mouth, chin and nose and says she’s been playing lipstick.
I guess I don’t really know where I’m going with this except that part of the reason I take so many pictures and keep this blog is that my memory is junk and I want to remember all of the little snippets of time that I love so much. This is why I get so upset that I don’t make the time to post more often. It’s not so that I might avoid leaving my readers in suspense…I don’t have a whole lot of readers. My hope is that some day my own children will be my readers. Or, at least, some day when my own children are driving me up the wall making me wonder why I ever had kids in the first place, I’ll have somewhere to turn for answers.
Sometimes I ask my mom about what I was like at my girls’ ages. Was I as strong-willed, entertaining, frustrating and charming? Did I make those funny expressions? Did I say anything particularly interesting? Did I have a favorite stuffed animal? Did I say things like “chocko bock” “Yook!” and “pssspssspss I love you”?
She doesn’t really remember the mundanities of every day life. And considering how I can hardly remember what I did yesterday, I’m willing to bet the farm that I’m not going to remember all of the things I want to either. I already look at Avery’s face and know that she looks totally different than Maysen looked at her age. But what did Maysen look like exactly? Somehow, it’s not totally ingrained in my head. Somehow I can’t draw that image into my imagination. If it weren’t for the photos that I take, print, and eventually put into an album, those visual images would be all but lost. And that sucks big time.
It’s terribly sad. And of course I can never get a photograph that will capture the exact image that I would like to have etched in my mind for all of eternity. There are just little visual flashes that I hope that I may always draw upon on days when big ol’ monster depression bares his fangs.
For example, breastfeeding is absolutely chock full of beautiful visual images. Aural and tactile ones as well, but it’s the visual ones I really need to remember.
The moment when Avery hums and gulps and slurps and rolls her eyes back in her head, unabashedly loving her milk and her mommy’s breasts, the moment she feels satisfied, and droopy-eyed lets her mouth go slack, then the moment she comes back to consciousness and looks up at me, and then the moment she recognizes me and grins…no, GRINS wide, gums and tongue all exposed. Eyelashes fluttering, fingers gripping hard, toes curling, legs still in that relaxed fetal position.
Or what about when Maysen, clothed in her green flannel button-up Thomas the Tank Engine jammies scoops cheerios into her mouth, holding the spoon all wrong, dribbling milk all along the table, down her chin, down her belly, and looks up at me, smiling, blue eyes peeking through the tangled curls hanging over her face, and says, “I made a foopy!”, laughing, spitting out milk as she cracks herself up?
But can I really get a good picture of that? Not without a third-party photographer. The problem is this. Ronny has a perfect memory. He doesn’t understand my deep need to take pictures of our life. He teases me for taking so many photos. We went to the beach the other day and I must have taken 900 pictures on my iphone. Not 900 that I will keep. Of that there will be maybe 4 good photos. That’s the problem with trying to capture the joy, fascination, innocence, excitement, enthrallment and engagement of a toddler. She wants nothing to do with the 35 year old mommy chasing her with her phone saying, “Maysen, look at mommy! Smile! Just look at my camera one time and you can have a cookie! I’ll PAY you if you just LOOK at my camera…you don’t even have to smile!”
So most of my photos aren’t beautiful. (It would help if I knew how to use my camera…that I’ve had nearly three years.) Most of them focus on the back of my kid’s head. But I figure, what the heck. If I can capture the moment…not in a good, prizeworthy photograph, but just in a way that I will remember it 27 years from now when my own daughter asks what she was like as a child. And yes, I say 27 because I don’t want to wait to become a grandma as long as I made my own mom wait.
My biggest fear used to be that of going insane and losing control of my own mind. Now, that fear has gotten bigger. Now I also fear forgetting all of the beautiful moments that make up my life.
So, that being said, I’m inserting a photo slideshow. It’s not necessarily made of the most beautiful photos. They’re certainly not professional. But it’s just some of the moments that I really, really will miss when, some day, my girls ask me what they were like at this age and I really can’t remember. I’ll know in my head and heart that they’re there, but I have I feeling I won’t be able to draw them to my consciousness. I want these images to stick in my mind, in my accessible memory.