Naomi won’t remember these late nights. Her crying. Me holding her close. Us intertwined in an exchange of energy. Her face resting on my chest, breathing in my exhales.
She won’t remember the times I’ve cried, wondering if I am a good mother. Asking myself if I’ve made a mistake. If maybe it was selfish of me to bring her here. After so many tries. If I did this because I wanted to be a mom so bad I didn’t stop to think about how my past might seep through my pores and taint the light of her beautiful soul.
Naomi won’t remember the dance parties in the middle of the living room. Dad and I wiggling around like boneless chickens. Her doing that weird hua-hua-hua noise, bouncing up and down in a deep squat that will one day give her power quads. The music blaring from speakers she stares at with wonder and admiration.
He and I talk about this on occasion. How these beautiful moments will one day fade into the back of our memory boxes, only thought of as “Do you remember that one time when…wait, how did it go?”
The way her small feet patter across the floor when she’s chasing after you. Trying to move faster than you so you don’t leave her behind. Two fingers stuck in her mouth, grinding on flesh and bone and creating calluses.
She’ll never remember the days when I’m staying up late studying or sitting at my desk, as I am now, writing at 3:30 am. The partition I created from an old fashion board blocking her from the light from my computer, and the overhead bulbs. Noise-canceling headphones on my head, one pushed off an ear just in case she cries. My phone across the room playing Nature Sounds for Meditation and Sleeping. Artificial Rain. Soothing thunder. The knocking of Native American drums.
Sometimes I wonder if it matters. If any of this matters. I wonder if in 5 years, 10 years, more years, I’ll care whether she remembers this time. Or if I want to pick and choose what she remembers.
Is it the best memories I want her to have? A mix of the best and the worst? Only the ones in which I’ve sacrificed? Those times when my guy gets home from working a double – exhausted – because he’s supporting his woman’s dreams while taking care of his family?
I also wonder if maybe it happens this way because these years are not about her remembering. These years are for us. My guy and I cuddling in bed, giggling, our knees touching, hands tickling. Whispering loudly, hoping to steal a few moments before the baby wakes up or goes to sleep or finishes her bottle.
It would be interesting to find these moments are less about Naomi – seeing her parents as they were before they became the people who “always tell her what to do” – and more about me discovering the strength to stay up late to write my books, or study, or take exams because I want my days to be filled with baby giggles and walks. Or daddy, working doubles and coming home to hold her in his arms. Her dropping everything she’s doing to sprint across the room and throw something at him. This is her ‘hi, I’m so excited to see you, daddy. Here’s my favorite toy of the day’.
I wonder if these small moments that remind us to hold on through the money troubles, or stay strong through a pandemic, or unite ahead frustrations are just for us.
Now that this realization unfolds as I write this I feel a cathartic release. That I shouldn’t be so afraid or worried about what she’ll remember. That I’ll enjoy this just for us. And what will come; may.