Shortly after I had Anna, I took her into work to meet my coworkers. A girl I worked with had a daughter about a year and a half old at that time and she marveled over how she couldn't remember her daughter being so tiny. I remember thinking to myself that I would never forget Anna at that size or any size for that matter. I would remember her in every way always. And then real life came back into play and time moved on and I forgot.
I forgot how tiny newborn feet are. I forgot how even a sneeze out of a week old baby seems completely amazing. I got caught up in the every day routine and sure enough when I went to visit a friend of mine and her new baby boy last week, it occurred to me that I don't remember holding Anna when she was an 8 pound little bundle.
This scares me. As a kid growing up there were several occasions that I promised myself "I'm never going to forget this when I have kids" or "when my kids are my age I'll remember how I'm feeling right now and I won't make it hard on them." That's not to say my parents made anything hard on me. I'm talking about crushes on boys who didn't know I existed, or worse, considered me to be their best friend. Or when I got my first period and my mom told all her friends at work (I'm sure out of new parental territory/advice seeking motivation!), who in turn congratulated me the next time I was there. Or how awful I could feel just from waking up in the morning from a bad dream and nobody quite understood what I was talking about.
If I can so easily forget what it feels like to hold a new born baby, how beautiful her little yawns were and that aching tired feeling of new parenthood, then how on earth will I remember the other important things I'm supposed to remember in order to make sure Anna knows I understand what she's going through?
I think the answer is that I'm not supposed to remember. She and I are supposed to have "That Fight." You know the one where she yells that I have no idea what it's like to be a teenager and then slams the door in my face? That fight. If all parents always remembered their "I'm always going to remember" moments, the universe would be thrown off its keel and we'd be walking around in a world where toddlers always say please and teenagers never slam doors in their mothers' faces.
And you know what? I just can't be responsible for that kind of global upheaval. I'm going to go ahead and live in the moment and enjoy her just like this for as long as she'll be like this and then I'll take the next stage as it comes.