The other day, my 8 year old son said something that was heartbreaking and sad, but at the same time so sweet and poetic. We were driving down the road, on the way home from school and he told me that it feels like he lost when he was really little. Lost as in can’t find it. He can’t remember being a baby and a toddler anymore, and feels like he lost those times, those memories.
It’s a horrible feeling, the losing of time. The losing of memories and things we once knew and had. It happens to all of us. I wish I had kept a better record of the time I have lost. I wish I had kept journals (I got one for Christmas that is still sitting blank in my room. I will write in it soon. I will.) and made baby books. I wish I had written down every cute thing my kids did or said. I’ve told other people to do this. I’ve advised others to keep a written record of the moments of their marriages and of being a parent. But I have not done it myself. I, who call myself a writer, did not write down the things I wanted to remember. I saved a lot of stuff. Random things that seemed special at the time, for one reason or another. But in the years to come, will I remember what those things meant?
It occurs to me now, that if I had been better at this, I would have something to give my son. I could give back some of what he lost. I realize it would never be the same as actually remembering, but it would be better than nothing. Maybe I will at least pull out the box of random things to show him, and pictures, things like that. And I can tell him things that I remember. But what’s even more heartbreaking is that I’ve lost some of it too. What was it like when my firstborn was just learning to sit, to crawl? I remember him being a baby, don’t get me wrong. But the memories aren’t as clear as I wish they were. The same goes for each of my children.
I should have kept a better record. I should have written it all down in a way that paints the most beautiful of pictures. Maybe I can start now. At least I do have a lot, I mean A LOT, of pictures and videos. I am very thankful for that. Those pictures and videos are my most treasured possessions. However, I know there was so much that I wanted to remember that wasn’t photographed or recorded with a video camera.
Maybe tonight I’ll finally crack open that journal.