I can remember staring into her eyes and saying to myself, ‘look through her dammit’. Take a picture in your memory and forever store it in the short-term so that you may always manage to get it back. Look hard, savor, or better yet, freeze time in your memory. You can try but you’re gonna forget.
The seasoned mom picks up a newborn and can’t seem to remember a full day with her baby. Even the new mom of the 5 month old meets her friends’ baby and swears up and down that her baby was never that small. But he was, she just forgets.
Every mom who holds a new baby says the same things. “What I would give for them to be like this again”, or “they grow up so fast”. What they’re saying is “For F&*% sakes, I can’t remember”. A mother of a toddler and twin newborns told me she has no memories of the first 6 months. That they’re a blur. Although she’s probably thrilled to have gotten through it in one piece, it remains heartbreaking.
Some of us question whether we held them enough (me), whether we overly encouraged a premature independence (me), or whether we took the time to enjoy rather than stress about cooking and cleaning (so stupid me). Sit the hell down and just hold your damn baby. Do nothing. Congratulations to the moms who did! Even though we will all forget, we will never forget how it felt. The feeling of your baby falling asleep on your chest, wrapping their whole hand around a single finger, “mama”, the first reach. You won’t forget how it felt and the moment you realized you’ll never be the same. At least we have that because no matter what, the truth is we’re gonna forget.