I was a great mother this morning. Actually, I've been great all day today. I dropped Gianna off at school rrrrrrright under the wire, then I bought myself some coffee (mudslide latte HALF CAF whole milk and whipped cream hope Brad doesn't notice the little swipey swipe of the debit card but who am I kidding, he will for sure), THEN I thought to myself, "It is a beautiful day and I will take my darling son to a park to play. I will not bring a book to the playground. I'll sip my coffee and I will enjoy the sunshine on my face and the fresh air and the delight of my child. And I will not be bored." So I did, and I wasn't (mostly.)
So it came to pass that I was driving home during the Diane Rehm show, where Marilu Henner was discussing her rare gift of "highly superior autobiographical memory." Rare whatever I am telling you I have this thing. I don't actually know who Marilou Henner is, by which I mean I couldn't pick her out of a police line-up if I had to. She is apparently an actress in the movies. The movies I haven't seen. But no matter, I was certain that I have this utterly impressive ability to remember my life's events in totality and with great specificity. She mentioned that "they" (yeah, "them," ok so I only heard the second half of the interview) are doing a study on people like her and me at UC-Irvine. And I knew in that moment God was calling me to fly to Cali and be studied, that I could truly contribute to the betterment of science. Forget hitting up the library on the way home to snag some more reading material to inhale while I put the Doms down for his daily siesta. Forget driving BACK out to Gianna's school with some generic-brand Tylenol for her sweet little sore throat. I have business to attend, and that business is on a respected university campus.
Or not. I do have a knack for remembering odd, specific details like exactly
where I was and exactly what I was wearing and exactly what I felt for
many, possibly most, moments of my life, important and non. But at the same time I
have to admit that in the last five years there are a lot of holes in
my chain of life events....and a lot of blurry memories, too. I'd
probably not pass muster with the sciency folks at UC-Irvine.
And even if I did, I am right where I am supposed to be, re-heating the rest of my latte in the microwave and enjoying a few moments of peace and quiet after I successfully transferred a sleeping Dominic from the car to his bed after our medicine run. And when I am done with this little post I will dutifully fill out and return the ASQ-SE (Ages and Stages Questionnaires: Social Emotional; A Parent-Completed, Child-Monitoring System for Social-Emotional Behaviors) only two weeks over-due and then do some laundry and probably clean up the kitchen.
The lack of sleep and the worries that come with parenthood have probably diminished some brain cells but I am not really just making memories for myself anymore, I am being present in the memories of my kids. Whether or not Dominic remembers our idyllic morning at the park today or Gianna remembers that I brought her relief via Target-brand acetaminophen in any specificity, I don't know, but it probably doesn't matter. What they lack in details will surely be made up for by the general sense of my imperfect but fiercely loving presence. I hope. I hope.