I looked at a collage picture I made of Dean after his first year. Most of the pictures are of him from about 7 months to 1 year old. He was so cute! I looked at it with my husband and we identified which picture made us think of Claudia and which of Charlotte. It really is amazing how our firstborn contains the features of each of the twins when it seems like the two of them are so completely different!
Then I looked again and my breath caught in my throat. I looked closer, frantically thinking, going back in time, trying to remember a particular moment and how it felt. Trying to remember my son at that age… and I realized, it was gone.
Dean at that age has been replaced by the girls who are at that age right now. I got sad, how could I forget? He was like an extension of myself for so long, another piece of my heart that walked around on it’s own. He and I were one… and now I can’t remember how that felt. It was like the new memories I am creating of the girls each day are replacing, overlapping, deleting the old memories of Dean at those same ages and stages. That’s why everyone needs back-up storage.
I kept a journal when Dean was little. I didn’t through his pregnancy and wished I had when friends asked me questions about what was going on with their pregnancies. I kept it in a weekly planner, a two-page spread showed an entire week with space enough for a short paragraph under each day. I jotted down things like when he ate a certain food for the first time, the first time he smiled, or the first time he walked. I’ve referred back to this journal often over the years either for my own pleasure, to compare to my new babies’ growth, or to answer questions that friends have about “is this normal”. I haven’t done as good a job with the twins.
The reason why is obvious: I have so much less time! I kept a great pregnancy journal (filled with my darkest guilt and frustration… not an extremely pleasant read, but it was a rough pregnancy) but once the girls came there was just no time anymore! I don’t use a real book anymore because I can type 90+/wpm and I dont’ have the patience to write things out by hand when time is at such a premium. I go about a month or two between entries as compared with the daily or at least weekly updates I gave with Dean.
Looking at those pictures it was just so scary to realize: I’m going to forget these moments too. I can’t let that happen. I have to make sure to write down that my favorite thing about Charlie right now is when she gets excited her whole body tenses, arms and legs straight, her eyebrows fly up and she makes a kind of monkey “UOogh” noise. It’s hilarious! And how is it possible that one day I’ll forget how devilishly cute Claudia looks every time I “chase” her up the stairs. She’ll climb two steps and then look back over her shoulder, eyes crinkle up in a smirk that reaches from her chin to her eyebrows, just waiting for me to growl at her before she frantically scrambles up a couple more stairs.
It’s a good thing I’m realizing it now, before more beautiful moments slip me by. I suppose I shouldn’t be here telling you about it at all–Off to the Journal!