Sometimes I wish I was a better scrapbooker/picture taker. I look back at the past seven months of our lives and realize how fast it's gone, and how many things I've failed to document. For example, every time I take Benjamin to the doctor, I make a mental note to remember his exact weight and length so I can record it in his Kidmondo online baby book. But after they give him his vaccinations, he screams so hard that all I can think of is soothing him and getting home. By the time I get home, I can remember the pounds but not the ounces and have no memory at all of the length. All I know is that he is "above average for height and average for weight." So on his growth chart, it shows that he's grown ONCE in seven months. I know that he got his first teeth somewhere around four months but by the time I got around to writing it down, I couldn't remember the exact date they first broke through.
Occasionally my mother-in-law calls me with such exciting news of my nephew as, "Jackson ate carrots!" or "Jackson rolled over!" Every time this happens, I feel bad for not having excitedly shared the same news about Benjamin with the whole family whenever it happened. At some point he started rolling over and if I happened to see someone that same day, I might have told them. But otherwise, it just became part of the norm--not worth sharing. But should I have written it down at least?
My friend Joy always posts darling videos of her son on facebook and I love watching them and remembering when Benjamin first did similar things to what London does in the videos. But when Benjamin does something cute, I usually just get so caught up in the moment that I forget to run for the video camera. Today I tried really hard to remember to keep the camera close and I actually got a video of him clapping--so cute! But I don't even know how to get it from the camera to do anything with it.
I'm sure I will learn and get better about this. But on the other hand, I don't want to become so obsessed with documenting memories that I miss them while they're happening. I love looking at pictures in scrapbooks, and sometimes they bring back memories. But some of my most powerful memories aren't recorded at all and they come up at the most unexpected times. Like how the smell of Clinique makeup causes my grandmother's memory to fill my senses in a living way that a photo couldn't touch. Or how sunscreen somehow bottles all the summers of my life like some sort of sunshine genie and releases them in one glorious burst--cold on my skin, warm in my soul. How feeling my friend's belly when her baby girl kicks sends a ghost of a remembered kick through my own. How every once in a while a kiss reminds me of our very first one and I feel like a teenager again--skinny and scared and so happy that he likes me. I could go on and on but none of these things will ever be in a picture--they just couldn't. It wouldn't be the same. And I wonder what things I'll remember all my life from these first mothering moments of it, and what senses will awaken the echoes of all the laughter of these days.
2 years ago