Saturday, March 5, 2011

Motherhood - Chapter 8 - Memory

Several weeks ago my husband and I watched an episode of 60 minutes where they highlighted people who could remember every waking minute of their lives in perfect detail. They could remember what they had for dinner on any insignificant day of any year and what they were thinking and whom they were with and what was said by everyone at the table.

In some ways this seemed like a super power. It was really incredible. Most everyone who they had found who had this gift (I think there were about 6) loved having it. Sure there were some negatives. Like the fact that if someone asked them about an emotionally difficult day or time of their life, they would refeel all those feelings as if they were right back in that moment. But they also got to relive all the happy moments in the same way too.

I have to admit, I went to sleep a bit envious that night. How I wish I could remember every sweet and precious moment of my motherhood experience. Of course I feel this way especially about my time with Camille. Without new memories to create everyday, I feel like in my fading memory I lose a shade of her more every day.

But I would love also to remember in perfect detail lots of little details like pretty much every moment of holding Sabrina when she was newly born. I would love to be able to recall with perfect detail Annie's voice and all the words and reason she used when she was just a year old. I would love to be able to hear Lauren's little girl voice in my head at any given moment. And I would remember every minute of Noble's cuteness right now.

This morning as I woke I had a memory come back to me. It is not a perfect memory. I don't remember even which year it was 2006 or 2007. I am pretty sure it was 2007 and I am pretty sure it was in the late spring of that year. But I unfortunately do not have perfect recall. We were living at my parents house and they were on their mission in Kenya.

What I do remember is that the grass in their extensive backyard was a bit long and blooming. It was a beautiful day weather wise. (Which pretty much means it had to be Spring sometime.) The girls and I were outside in the backyard and there were hundreds of ladybugs all flying around in the grass. It was magical. It was a sweet day and I wish so much that I could remember this and all the other sweet simple moments of motherhood with perfect detail.

I believe that someday I will have this gift. I believe we all will. Someday when this mortal life is behind us, I believe we will be able to perfectly recall every moment of our mortal lives. I look forward to that day. And that makes me think about something one of these women with perfect autobiographical recall said about how this gift has affected the way she lives her life. She said that she tries to make every moment count, because every moment is one she will remember forever so she tries to make the most of them.

I could do better at that. Every moment is one that one day I will remember. My moments are finite. My moments with my children here in my home and at these ages are gone as soon as they are experienced. I want to be better about making the most of these moments so that my memories will be sweet. And hopefully by writing some of them down I will be better able to remember a few of them while here in this life.


Susan Anderson said...

I really enjoyed this post, Stephanie.

It was reflective and lovely...a great reminder that writing down memories is important.

And that one day, writing them down won't be necessary.


The Cricket on the Hearth said...

I think I would like to have that gift of perfect memory if I could be selective about it... I don't know that I want to remember *every* day with perfect clarity. Some days have been very hard, and I am thankful that time and moving forward softens those rough edges. Interesting concept. Lovely post.