Every day I subconsciously do things so that I will remember. Remember to RSVP to a baby shower, to buy vegetable broth, to give the baby vitamin D. Remember to sit up straight, pay the trash company. Remember to teach tolerance and kindness to the babies, so unaware of a thing called ‘hate’. Remember not to say shit anymore.
Remember the way the girls looked when they woke up, like full moons with creased cheeks and feathery eyelashes. I want to remember how they fit in a dress before they outgrew it, remember the way their breath smelled when all they drank was milk. Remember how they sounded running around the house, their steps like heartbeats on the floor. I want to remember how Sprout said vitamin “bite-a-min”, other “udder” and called dogs “Golly-Gols” for reasons unknown. I am so desperate to remember the way they loved to lay next to each other and how they wanted to be touching me all the time.
I want to remember how this house, our first, felt like a bounce house at a birthday party when it was full. Everyone happy, everyone trying not to step on each other. How there was a nick in the wall from car keys someone threw once, how all this inanimate wood and cement and drywall felt like part of our family.
Sometimes I think I’m trying so hard to remember all of this because I worry that it’s all downhill from here. That I have to memorize my daughter’s chipmunky trill saying “Merry Christmas Mommy” so that if she says she hates me in high school I won’t be reduced to dust.
In the car today I told Sprout, as we passed some overtly obvious Christmas light display-palm trees as tall as telephone poles dressed as candy canes -when she claimed she couldn’t see them, “Just look out your window. You’ll see what you need to see.” Which was also code for: we can’t stop. But I think it was tied to what I needed to remind myself too: In the end, you remember what matters.
There are four days left in this year and all the sweating and cajoling I did trying to bring one of my daughters here (or simply trying to get both of them into the car) is starting to feel less like a messy calamity and more like a beautiful adventure. It all is.
Cheers to another year!
The best memories are always right in front of us.