There are certain things that I'm really good at memorizing. I have inherited the ability to know an inordinate amount of phone numbers from my mother, and it's a trait that comes in very handy when I'm not at home with the directory at my disposal. I know my credit card number by heart, as well as the 800# for Frontier Airlines, my gym membership ID#, my frequent buyer code for Wolf Camera, and dozens of phone numbers of friends and neighbors.
In addition to my affinity for numbers, I've tried to commit to memory certain events and moments in my kid's lives. We all know they grow up too fast, but video cameras are not always handy when you need them and the camera doesn't always capture the moment. My mother-in-law keeps a photo album on each of her grandchildren, and during our recent visit my kids got theirs out and looked at their pictures. Drew flipped to a picture that was taken when I was not there, so I hadn't seen it before - he was about 2 years old, fresh out of the bath, in clean jammies with his hair still wet and freshly combed. My ovaries started to hurt and I panicked, because right there staring back at me from the page seemed to be proof that I was already failing to remember. And while I am completely content to be past that two-year-old phase, it made me miss it terribly.
Today I'm trying to memorize what it felt like to have Samantha come in unsolicited, throw her arms around my neck and thank me again for the Nintendo DS we gave her for Christmas. I'm trying to freeze in time what she looks like before the final stages of puberty take over, and how she looked as she came in my room late last night and said, "Mom, I was wondering if you could give me some advice." Last night while retrieving a couple of grocery items from the store, Drew helped me carry out a bag and declared that he was holding it on the bottom with his other hand in case the bag broke, then his hand would catch it. He seemed proud of himself as he closed his mouth in a tight lipped smile and revealed the subtle dimple in his right cheek. For some reason, I didn't want to forget it, so I told my brain to please try and remember this very small and seemingly insignificant space in time. On the way home I called my mom because I needed her special roast beef recipe. My dad answered. While talking to both of them I had to smother the sudden emotion that bubbled to the surface as I realized that this little interchange wouldn't always be my privilege. And while I'm not worried about my parents dying anytime soon, they will eventually, and then who will I call about roast beef?
This very minute I'm trying to engrave in my brain walking in on Sam & Drew two seconds ago as they laughed while wrestling on my bed, and witnessing Drew running commando to the shower proclaiming, "I am NAKED boy!!" as if introducing the latest and greatest superhero. Cory is pacing the floor downstairs, on the phone and taking care of some church business. When he's done he will come upstairs and tease the kids before coming in to greet me. I command my brain to take notes, and pray that it is listening.