You Won’t Remember
You won’t remember.
You won’t remember how after three other births I still had two false labor alarms with you, my fourth, because I was so ready to meet you…and when the midwife helped pull you out how I cried: “Give her to me.”
You won’t remember your daddy holding you with such pride…the fourth child holding his fourth child.
You won’t remember the line of your three siblings, nose pressed against the glass, peering at you for the first time…already full of adoration.
You won’t remember how the nurses smiled at the steady stream of people who came to see and hold you those first days in the hospital.
You won’t remember the day your daddy took your brother and sisters to the world’s largest tree house in Crossville, Tennessee during your first week home just so I could spend some moments of silence with you.
You won’t remember how I pumped milk driving down the road from school in Knoxville at
70 miles 80 miles per hour on I 75 so you could have breast milk when I had to be away.
You won’t remember the countless times I had to tell your brother and sisters: “give her space” because they would have smothered you with love had I let them.
You won’t remember your friends in the nursery and your sitters…Ms. Robin, Amy, Vanessa, Holly, Taylor, and Melyssa…how they loved you to pieces…how you loved them right back…and that I adored them for it.
You won’t remember that I would lose sleep rather than work when you were awake, that I would hold you, nursing you, even while writing papers, finishing articles, and returning emails from students and clients…and have the wrinkles to prove it.
You won’t remember our Mondays and Wednesdays and stroller rides or how my favorite time of the week was taking you to the grocery store where you had your first cookie, how we would talk the whole way through the store, and you smiled at everyone who would look your way.
You won’t remember our walks and rides to pick up your siblings or how you called both of your sisters by the same name for months and months.
You won’t remember cocking your head to the side and saying to me, as if I was the SILLIEST: “Mama!”
You won’t remember our trip to the playground, your love for the slide…over and over and over…and our stop at the donut store where your smile earned us their leftovers for free.
You won’t remember how you loved to toddle up to the edge of the trampoline specifically to see your mama frightened and then run back into my arms, giggling all the way.
You won’t remember how you would get in trouble for throwing your sippy cup or pulling your brother’s hair and after we sternly said “No” you would stare at us for a few seconds and then, total deadpan, say: “Hi, Daddy” or “Hi, Mama”. You won’t remember how we would have to fight not to laugh out loud.
You won’t remember how you loved, loved, loved Barney and Miss Patty Cake and knew all the words and how when you would sing: “with a great big hug and a kiss from me to you” you would come to us and do just that.
You won’t remember how, when you would hear a sibling crying in another part of the house, you would take a little gasp and say: “Emmett crying.”
You won’t remember how you were the last to walk, but the first by far to feed yourself with a spoon and the look in your eye when we TRIED to feed you told us that we were in for a fight. “I do it” was one of your first sentences.
You won’t remember being strapped to the back of my bike, wind surrounding us on the ride down hill, crying out “Weeeeeee!” and “Ride more!”….or how moments like those saved me over and over and over.
You won’t remember me asking you every night: “Do you want me to rock you?” and you saying: “Yes” and how in the silence, I would breathe in you, your warm head on my chest melting the remains of the day away.
You probably won’t remember anything from your first two years. Perhaps, I won’t remember much either, but when I am old and frail and I can’t ride down that hill anymore, I will remember.
They say parents have to give up so much in those early years…sleep, time for work and play, even their bodies. I know that’s right, but even still…I pretty much believe I am am the one who gets the most.
Happy almost second birthday, sweet girl. Here’s to the next stage and making some memories we will enjoy remembering together.