what is and what was and what we remember

I don’t think he’ll remember this moment. The night we had smoothies before or maybe for dinner. The first night he sat like a big boy on the bar stool on our kitchen island. I probably wouldn’t remember it if it wasn’t that I was feeling guilty for taking a total of six pictures since Christmas and decided to grab my camera.


It seems that most of childhood is made up of those kind of moments. The moments that are here and then gone. The moments he won’t remember. The hundred and one times I wiped his mouth or combed his hair or dropped a diaper in the trash. The picking up, the cleaning up, the rocking and soothing. The laundry.

And even the magical moments like Christmas mornings, birthday cakes, blowing bubbles and dandelion seeds seem to mostly fade away with time leaving just fragments captured here on there on film or in some corner of the mind that’s rarely accessed. Even now  I close my eyes and will myself to remember the birthday where mom made me a puppy dog birthday cake, the day she taught me how to sew, the time dad bought me a My Little Pony that came with a baby carriage, sitting around and coloring while my parents read us Christmas stories, dad putting out the baby Jesus each Christmas morning before we woke up.

And I question what I’m forgetting. What moments of wonder have been lost to time and age and replaced with much less sacred information like my ATM pin. I think of my parents who created those magic moments for us. I think of the love that they poured into those moments and I ache for forgetting them.  But I don’t believe the soul forgets. I believe every one of those moments are etched somewhere deep inside me. They helped shape me, hold me together and sustain me. They are less memories now and more a part of who I am, integrated into my psyche and shaping the beliefs I hold about my worth as a person

So I wipe up another mess and look at my son and hope for the same gift for him. I hope that these moments of simple splendor: Daddy giving him a ride on his back, me singing Amazing Grace, the cuddles and kisses and words of affirmation bury themselves deep inside of him and don’t let go. Because there’s how it happened and then there’s what the heart remembers. And this is what I hope his heart knows when all other memories of that night are gone: He is loved, he is wanted, he is treasured. Always.


{{When I look at the first photograph I think, yep, that’s what happened. When I look at the second I think, that right there is the love I want to remember. (K’s pictures blurred for his safety while he’s not in our custody.)}}

Categories: the hood of mother

3 replies »

  1. This post is so, so beautiful and poignant. I read it before going up for one more bedtime song and soothing rock for my boys. This post reminded me that each of these moments is important. Seemingly insignicant in the big scheme of life, but they each build the foundation of trust and love that is incredibly important for our children. I love all your posts and I usually read them via email and mean to click over and comment and never do…so I apologize for that but wanted you to know that I love your blog and have loved reading the beautiful story being written for your sweet family! We are also adopting from the same country as your sweeties and love reading about your experience! God bless!

  2. Thanks for taking the time to write out parts of life. As always, it’s beautifully written and makes an impact on my life. Thanks for the reminder that it’s the everyday love and acceptance given that will help our little kids into functional adults with their own lives someday. I find myself wanting to give them individual “wonderful” experiences, forgetting maybe that they won’t remember those moments so much as the attitude and feeling they get from living in my home for these years.

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