Thursday, September 8, 2011

Coffee Talk: Where Did The Memories Go?

Baby Lauren - Two weeks old

One of the things I love most about having a new infant is that each reminds me of the other. Glimpses of an older' sibling's face as an infant in the newborn's face causes a fleeting memory of that stage with that child. Yet, the memories are shadowy, not solid. It's as if they disappeared in the fog of lack of sleep and the sea of busyness and demands of days spent mothering more than one child.

What happens to all those memories? Why can it be so difficult to recall each child's newborn phase (or aspects of other phases, in general)? Certainly, there are many moments I remember, but there are also many others I don't. It seems the ones I remember best are those that I will myself to remember, as if I intentionally take a mental snapshot and save it on the hard drive of my brain.

While we were talking about this, my husband shared a great point: magnificent as they are, our minds--specifically our memories--can only hold so much. We can't possibly catalog and recall everything. So we have to be intentional about what we choose to store. And we have to slow down a little so we can effectively store it.

I came across this quote on Elizabeth Foss' blog and think it ties in perfectly:
“…the biggest mistake I made is the one that most of us make…I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs. There is one picture of the three of [my children] sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages 6, 4, and 1. And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing: dinner, bath, book bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less.” --Anna Quindlen
Have you found this to be true in your own life as well? How do you think we can enlarge our memory bank?

1 comment:

  1. Your little one is precious! What a great thought today for me. I'm still waiting on my new little one to arrive and I've been looking back at pictures of my other children and thinking, "I don't remember this." Thanks for the reminder to be in the moment. Thanks for sharing a picture. She is so sweet.