Harry smiles at camera from on top of a rock in front of the Kootenay River at twilight
Change,  Letters to Harrison,  Travel with Baby

All the Lost Memories of Childhood

Harry, when you were new, I swore I’d remember every major moment and milestone. I felt so much pride for all those “firsts”…all your accomplishments really felt like my accomplishments. We had fun, and there were endless events and activities to engage in. You are now one, almost two, and the lost memories of your childhood are already weighing on me.

Your first smile,

first words,

pulling up,

crawling.

They’re all things that the majority of us do at some point (some sooner than others). We all think ourselves special and unique among the masses, when not much of what we do is really, particularly unique at all. Despite this, I recall so much pride in watching you learn these basic skills.

For me as your mom, every single one of them was truly special.

Dear god, there were a lot of them, though.

Many, I recall with humour, such as you learning to descend stairs. You knew it involved turning around and going backwards feet-first, but the concept of 180 degrees was too advanced for you initially. The rotation was always present, but frequently under- or over-shot. It would involve legs tangled in bannisters, collisions with houseplants, or often (and my favourite) confusion on your face as you backed away from those stairs you thought you were about to descend.

Just yesterday you ran into the bathroom with your chubby little palm extended like a “stop-sign” notifying me you were here to “wait”.

“Harrison, what are we waiting for?”

As it turns out, while I was attempting to get ready, you’d scaled the counter, inserted a rice bag into the microwave, and successfully set the cook time for two minutes. You were sharing with me that you were waiting for the time to complete so you could hop back up and recover a cosy warm rice bag to snuggle with.

How Many Lost Memories?

Certain things trigger memories today that were otherwise lost in my tangled mind. Things, such as pictures, old toys, and reading past blog posts.

How many of these memories have I lost forever?

How many will I regain and remember with fondness at the most random of times?

At birth we focus so much on the statistics, weight, length, percentiles, and I recall being quizzed on these by fellow moms comparing you to their kids. I was occasionally guilty of it too. After all, thats all you really have in reference to newborns, you don’t do much.

Interaction in those first weeks is really limited to staring and crying, and things like weight vs. height vs. gain seemed important.

I also remember quizzing a girlfriend on what her kids weighed at six months, ten months. My response was pretty flat to her answer: “I have no idea, I don’t remember now, its a lost memory”.

How could you forget those important numbers?! (I thought in my head, since I was going to remember all that information…my recall regarding your 90th percentile status fresh in my head). Heres where I admit that currently, I have no idea what you weigh (though I pride myself on my recall of your birth weight, and your birthday!).

What do the “stats” matter now? You are truly so much more interesting than numbers.

Lost numbers are no big deal, but lost memories really are.

Lost Memories, Gained Memories

I hope to recall the joy on your face when you’d wave your chubby “jazz hands” and sing “HAPPY” out of the blue every few days (no clue to this day where you learned that).

Our relief when your cries turned to giggles when a hand patted over your mouth, distracting you out of your fury because of the “wa-wa-wa-wa” sound now coming from your mouth.

Explaining to people in airports that yes, my blowdryer was your favourite toy, it kept you occupied (unplugged, obviously), and we were, in fact, travelling with it in our carry-on for you to play with.

Your insistence that your name was “Sushi” (our cat) when asked “whats your name?”.

Your physical fearlessness at the age of one, jumping into the pool from dive blocks, flying down ice slides, and scaling misplaced step ladders with ease.

I have a lot of “I have no clue” moments these days when asked to recall your infancy, and I wonder how many marvellous and exciting memories I have already forgotten, despite my vow to carry them always.

We’ve got many more memories to make, and remember, recall, and lose forever. I will never remember every moment, neither will you.

All I can hope is that when you look back, you remember the love and warmth, the often misplaced adventures and plans gone sideways. Despite the sometimes chaos, I hope the feelings of fulfillment and happiness endure in your memory.

Harry leans over the edge looking into the turquoise water of a hot spring at Cave and Basin Historical site in Banff.
Harry is encouraged to look for endangered snails rather than swim in this particular hot spring at Cave and Basin National Historical site while road tripping with Mom.

 

What is your favourite funny memory you hope to never lose?

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