School started for the boys last week, and on the first day Jock came home with an English assignment. (Yes, on the first day. High school, remember? No grace period.) It was the start of a family heritage/family tree project. My son, though, rather than ASK ME the questions he was supposed to ask, simply filled in his own answers however he thought I might answer them. I was not amused, to say the least. I LIKE giving my opinion, remember?
One of the questions said to ask his mother for one memory she had of him. Now, the one he picked was certainly one of the top several; but not necessarily one I would have given him. He chose to say that I would have remembered the time he fell out of the window a week before his 5th birthday, and how he should have (but oh-so-thankfully didn't) died because of how he landed. Instead, he walked away from that incident with scrapes on his face and some randomly scrambled neurotransmitters that affect how he learns, but that was it. When weighed against the possibility of never having been able to feel the field beneath his feet as he ran into the end zone, or to never have heard the ultimately satisfying crack of the bat as it hit the ball and sent it sailing over the left field wall; well, some struggle with math seems a small price to pay for him. And as important as that memory is in the tapestry of our life with him, its by no means the only one. As I told him so, I shared other memories I have of this amazing child of mine.
~~When he was just a few months old, he was the stretchingest baby I knew. He would stretch All. The. Time. And each time he would stretch his little baby arms up over his head, his eyes and mouth would close while his eyebrows stretched wayyyy up; He looked like a GloWorm.
~~When he was four years old, he lived in a green sweatsuit and his snow boots. Lived in them. I have pictures of him in that outfit, with his hair curling at his collarbone, sitting there with his knees pulled up to his chin, arms wrapped around his legs, and a cheesy, dimple-filled grin for me.
~~When we were expecting Bug, somewhere about the 6th month Jock decided he no longer wanted a baby brother. Could we send it back since we hadn't opened it yet, and get a puppy instead?
~~For his 9th birthday, we had a "Backwards Birthday" party. All the guests wore their clothes backwards, we had cupcakes in ice cream cones and slices of ice cream. Then, instead of the birthday boy unwrapping the gifts from his guests, his guests took wrapping paper and wrapped him up. We started with cake and ice cream, and then had hot dogs and hamburgers, then opened the gifts and played games. It was the most fun birthday party he's ever had, to this day.
~~When he was 11, he was out front riding around on his bike with some friends. I poked my head out of the front door and hollered at him that I loved him. He hollered back that he loved me, too. When his friends started teasing him "...oooh... you love your mom....", he looked each of them in the eye and replied, "Yes. Don't you love yours?"
~~When he was 12, and already had a mustache and sideburns; and the parents of other baseball players kept asking me if he was really only 12. Because, you know, moms lie about those things.
~~Buying him his first razor for his 14th birthday.
First day of high school. First girlfriend. First date. So many other memories that there couldn't possibly ever be enough room for me to write them all down. And he's still young. How many more memories is this child going to give me?
When you're young and single, you can't imagine how someone can remember everything. Once you become a parent, it's like all of a sudden your memory becomes like Google mail. Unlimited storage space; and growing. You can never fill it up, no matter how much incoming stuff gets crammed in there.
I like that idea.