Oh how I wish I could keep you this small forever. You are such an amazing little creature, and there are moments when I just want to bottle your adorableness, and put it on a shelf, so that some years from now when you are old, and I am older still, I can pull it down from that shelf and show you how you once were. So that I can never forget the fleeting time that was your youth.
But there are also times when I want to bottle your pain-in-the-ass-ness and throw it out to sea, never to hear from it again.
Delete it from memory.
Forget it completely.
However, I do think we kind of do that naturally. It’s a defense mechanism. A means of survival. Kind of like forgetting the pain of childbirth or the memory of a lost loved one.
I once asked my mother-in-law if her son (my husband) was as much of a pain in the ass as my son is. Surely my son did not inherit those “make you want to jump off a bridge” qualities from me!! It must have come from his father.
“Well I think that sounds vaguely familiar, but really I can’t remember a thing”.
I hope that I, too, can someday forget all the stuff, the minutia of my day to day with you that sometimes make me want to scream. I want to forget that for a week straight, at the age of four, you decided to wake up 5 times in a 2 hour period, and then top it off by waking up in the morning an hour earlier than usual, thus making you a literal monster by 4 in the afternoon. I want to forget it but right now I can’t. It’s too fresh. It just happened yesterday.
I want to forget that you don’t listen to half of what I say, and when I ask you to repeat what I have said, you say “I forget”. How can you forget? I just told you 3 seconds ago. I used simple words and everything!
I want to forget that it takes over an hour for me to get you to go to sleep at night, because you have to tell me one more thing, one more thing that is completely unrelated to the going-to-bed process, or anything else we have just been discussing for that matter. Or because you have to get out of bed one more time to use the bathroom, or to get a drink of water, when you then proceed to not pee or drink a drop. Or because you have to ask me fifteen times when it will be morning, what time will it be morning, or that you have to inform me for the three hundredth night in a row that you don’t know how to go to sleep.
I don’t want to hear it. I don’t want to remember it. I just want to erase it from memory.
Or do I?
Do I really want to forget? If it were not for these moments that make me want to jam your Crayola’s into my eyes, would I appreciate the moments that you make me so happy?
Like when you hug and kiss your little sister out of the blue, just because. Or when you tell me you love me, and ask if I’m ok when you see me crying. (Usually the crying all started because of something you did to upset me, but it’s still sweet). Or when you light up when you see me enter the room.
These are all moments, snapshots in time, and I wish I had a literal photograph for each one of them, but I don’t. And I truly don’t think I would have the same appreciation for their poignancy, were it not for the things you do that make me crazy. It would be a true statement to say that 80% of the time I want to pull my hair out. But the other 20% of the time is so wonderful, that I guess I’ll keep you around.
And maybe someday I will even have more children. Give me another year and I will probably have forgotten how much I hated being pregnant. Maybe.