I spend lots of idle moments wondering what my boys will remember from their childhoods. While I realize it's unlikely they'll remember all the cool things we endeavor to provide the opportunity for them to do, I know from my own memories of childhood that it's not easy to predict what the brain will decide to hold in its archives. I also hope that even if they can't recall specifics, they'll remember the general feeling of their growing up as a mostly-good one. I wonder, too, what they'll remember about me. I'm sure they'll remember that I yell sometimes (and honestly, I'm okay with that...I want them to know that I'm a real person with real and sometimes big feelings, so that they know it's okay to be real people with real, big feelings themselves). They'll probably remember that I'm a little bit fat and a little bit loud and that I like to listen to music in the car and that I swear and I'm not a good cook. I hope they'll remember that I bake them muffins to eat for breakfast almost every day. That I track down shirts I think they'll like. I hope they recall being asked to clean up their own messes, to use their manners, to try new things and work as a team. I hope, too, that they remember me as a mom who worked and was good at it, and who also volunteered at their schools and didn't forget about crazy sock day.
When they think about me as adults, maybe with their own kids, I'd like it if they remembered how often I loaded up the car with snacks and a change of clothes for everyone, with water shoes and sand pails and tadpole nets, how many times I smeared sunscreen on their little faces and filled up their water bottles and took them out on an adventure. I hope when I'm an old lady I can remember this, too. The smell of their hair in the sun. The freckles on Nico's nose and Elliott's farmer's tan. Rinsing sand off their legs and mud off their shoes. Changing clothes behind bushes and in the back of the car because there was a creek to jump in or a fountain to play in and I didn't say no. How proud I feel when one of them comes running to show me some cool bug or bone or rock that he has found. The two of them whooping with joy on a tire swing or on a boat out on the river. Tumbling home hungry and smelly and thoroughly happy from a long day out and gone. I can't think of any better partners for this journey of a life, no matter what they remember of it later.