Thursday, May 18, 2006

Little reminders

Foggy bottom
Originally uploaded by toyfoto.
Dear Annabel,

When you were born I couldn't stop thinking: How did we manage that? How did we manage to make such a beautiful, perfect child? They must have made a mistake.

I am sure that in time -- perhaps on the occasion when your father meets your first boyfriend-- you will question the very same thing; I hope you won't go as far as to disown us and search for your real family.

As much as we think you belong to us right now, I know you are your own. You will have to make bad choices to get to the good ones. I need you to know that I will be biting my tongue and chiding myself when I can't be silent and let you find out for yourself.

Even with decades of experience on you, I know I won't always be right. Although I hope there will be dozens of years when you don't find out this fact for yourself.

While I watch you play with an intensity I never knew toddlers could possess, it is difficult for me to comprehend that you won't remember most of our early experiences together. You won't recall the bed bouncing we did (shoes on) or the tea parties with lemon sorbet. You won't remember dragging me onto the sunporch to see the rollercoaster ride-on toy in the yard. You called it a rollerskate.

I mourn that you won't have any recollections of throwing your arms around me when I come home and whispering a language all your own into my listening ears. I wish that you could have full use of these memories that will never archive, eventhough I have pictures for you to ponder when you are older (or perhaps to tear up in shame, although I hope it never comes to that).

You won't remember how you'd sing your answers to my questions. I couldn't help but get all gooey inside at your sweet voice, and laughing at myself. Knowing that very same thing will make me crazy when you are a teenager.

Your already acting like a teenager -- the kooky-zany kind that joins the school plays because they're fun. One day, you will be the angry, mopey kind that will want me to drop her off and the end of the block when I drive you to parties.

I hope we can teach you all you need to know to find out more. I hope you will forever understand that you are part of us but you belong to yourself.

Sometimes I will need reminding, too. It's just nature's diabolical plan -- I am your mother. It's my job.



Mom101 said...

You bring up so many thoughts I've had myself...hey! I'm doing good things here! And damn, you won't even remember them. But the truth is, there will be many more. And then, she'll have this. The record of it. And sometimes that's just as good.

Andrea said...

It makes me wonder what kind of stuff I did when I was my child's age. I do recall a few things about when I was the age my son is at now, so I watch him and wonder if one of the things he's doing now will shape his first memory. Will he remember saying, "Catch, Mama!" and then throwing a ball into the dishwasher while I tried to load dishes? Will he remember shouting to the dogs to "Hush!" in the morning when they first see us and cry for their morning lovin? Will he remember playing outside with his cousins or blowing out the candles on my birthday cake? I just smile and wonder if I'll recognize the moment when his memory decides to take hold start keeping these things.

Beautiful post.