All the things I cannot remember
I don’t remember when my daughter rolled over for the first time, despite being so excited when she did it.
I have no idea when her third tooth came in, although I do know she had two teeth at three months of age.
I can’t remember how tall she was at two years old, or what size her feet were at three.
I don’t know what my son’s first word was, or exactly when it was he started to walk.
I don’t have a baby book, scrapbook or blog to remind me of their milestones and I didn’t keep the first lock of hair snipped from either of their sweet-smelling heads.
I have no idea what foods I fed them first, or what their favourite infant toys were.
I don’t know when my son moved from a bucket seat to a rear-facing car seat.
I couldn’t tell you when my kids dropped their first nap, or their second, or how long they slept at three months of age.
I rarely print photos and no, my children won’t grow up to be jpegs, they’ll grow up to be adults.
I remember the baby giggles, and the smell of their skin. I remember their eyes and the way the sun glints off the strands of their hairs. I watch them play and try to commit to memory the love I feel for them. I imprint their hugs on my body.
I don’t have many pictures from when I was a baby, that’s not how things were really done back then, I guess. Digital photography has sort of demanded we document every waking moment of our lives whereas film dictated a measure of frugality.
I don’t have all my baby teeth in a glass jar for posterity, nor details of the minutiae of my development.
My baby books seemed to stop at about three, and honestly, I’m ok with that.
My parents didn’t keep notes on how I grew, I don’t have a collection of things to remind me of every vacation, every friendship, every heartbreak.
And all of that is ok.
What I do have, and what I hope my kids will have, too, is the overall knowledge that my childhood was a happy, safe, warm place filled with love and fun.
I don’t mind that nobody breastfed me, and I don’t particularly appreciate that I was cloth-diapered.
It doesn’t matter to me when I potty-trained or how my spelling was in grade two.
If we let the world tell us how to appropriately document these lives, we risk missing the joys we have in the moments. These small moments are filled with adoration, fleeting bits of life distilled into precious, undocumentable love, and sometimes it’s ok that they disappear like a will-o’-the-wisp because what’s left is the unshakeable assurance we are loved and give love.