I Forget

The other night after getting the kids to bed, I was sitting at my computer when I heard my 9-year-old son call down to me.  “Mom?  Will you lay with me?” came a little voice from the top of the stairs.

This is an unusual request.  Normally after I finish tucking the girls in and getting them settled, my son is already engrossed in his latest book.  I always give him a hug and a kiss and say good-night, but he’s usually anxious to get back to reading so I rarely linger.  Besides, after laying down with each of the girls and detangling myself from their tentacles, I’m eager to get back downstairs and have some ME time.

Since it’s rare that my son requests my presence at bedtime anymore, I immediately left what I was doing at the computer and went upstairs.  As I lay down beside him on his bed and started stroking his head, I noted the stiffness of little boy hair.  It no longer has the silky softness of toddler hair.  I closed my eyes and tried as hard as I could to remember the infant that he once was and stroking that downy baby head, but all I could see were the pictures we have displayed around the house.  I honestly can’t remember that child.

And because I’m a sap I started to well up.  I lay there and held him tight, as if I could stop time and keep him from getting any older if I held on hard enough.  Finally I got up and left the room before he could see the tears in my eyes.

I think the hardest part about the kids growing older is that I just cannot remember what they were like in the past.  It’s the same with all my kids.  I can’t even remember what they were like last year, to say nothing of three, five, or nine years ago.

I look at R, my sturdy 3-year-old, and I adore this little preschooler who tells me she loves me without prompting and finds Goldbug on every page of Richard Scary’s Cars and Trucks and Things That Go in record time.  I delight in my 6-year-old who wants to carry a purse everywhere and put on makeup just like me.  And I cherish my growing boy who shares my sense of humor and can beat me at Othello fair and square. I don’t want to go back and relive the last 9 years. I just wish I could remember them.

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29 thoughts on “I Forget

  1. Me, too! I saw something the other day that said, “The days drag on, but the years fly by.” That is so true. My oldest will graduate high school this year and I have so many memories flooding my mind, but there are so many blanks, too.

  2. I just had an experience like this…..it’s hard to believe that the baby that I carried over 13 years ago is now a teenager. I see it in him, my soon to be 11 year old son, and my little princess of 5 years. Wow, where does time go?

    BTW, I am hosting a giveaway over at my blog for personalized fruit roll-ups. Please stop by and share with your readers if you’d like. 🙂

    Have a great day!

  3. Ohmygosh, I can so relate! Our sons are grown now, and I try to
    remember back. Thank God for my journals, for photos, for videos.
    And for their memories. I am learning to cherish and embrace
    EVERY moment, EVERY day. I only have it once. This reminds me of
    a book by Christian author, Karen Kingsbury, “Let Me Hold You Longer.”


    What a special mother you are, to tune into your little guy’s call
    to snuggle. Sounds kinda like it was a call from God, too. So special!

  4. Oh Jo-Lynne. Drew still asks me every. single. night to lay down with him and I almost always can’t say no. I KNOW these days are numbered and short and I have to drink them up while I can!

    My eyes are welling up, too; you’re not alone. 🙂

  5. I can totally relate. What a sweet post. My oldest just turned 8 and when I look back at his pictures I try so hard to grasp on to what it felt like to hold him close. Squishy baby fat and soft hair. Now he is tall skinny and bony. But I love him all the same.

  6. It is so hard to have our kids grow up. Not matter how many memories you have, nothing stays the same in your mind. I can’t remember the kids as young toddlers, it saddens me.

  7. Boo hoo!! you have brought me to tears with this post. I am the same way, I wish the kids could just stay small and sweet forever. I don’t always remember what they were like when they were younger, I wish I could but can’t. The way I remember is to open up there photo albums or watch old home movies and that jogs my memory a bit to remember. Thanks for letting me know at least that I am no the only one who forgets how they were and who wishes they would never grow up.

  8. ah, now I am welling up. partly because I am just beat, but also because I just got finished running my fingers thru my little one’s hair and can’t even imagine it not being baby fine and so soft.

    this was such a sweet, honest post!

  9. What a wonderful post. This is one of the reasons that I started my blog – so that I can having something to look back on a remember these times that are going so fast. Since AEK has been sick this past week, I have spent more time rocking and holding her than usual. Although her first birthday, in two weeks, is exciting, it’s a bit sad for me too. She has changed so much in the past year and there are times that I long for my newborn again. Don’t get me wrong, I love the toddler but there was something special about the first few days with the newborn.

  10. That brings tears to my eyes! My son is 9 but still lets us hug him and snuggle as much as we want. It is amazing how the memories of him being little have faded. We do have some videos that we watched a couple of years ago and I couldn’t believe how much I had forgotten. I was just telling hubby that we have to watch them again.

  11. All I can say to this is I totally am right there with you. I jump at the chance to play Mom…to snuggle, sit still for a moment and close my eyes and pretend she’s still 2. I actually get excited now at the the thought of having a sick day with her home from school!

  12. I can so relate to this post and it makes it even more real that my oldest is soon to be turning 8 years old. I guess all we can do is enjoy them in the moment!

  13. Spill it!

    Ohmygosh! I can so relate. Our boys are grown. I don’t know what I’d do without my journals, photos and videos. And their voiced memories. Reminds me so much of Karen Kingsbury’s book for children, “Let Me Hold You Longer.” It talks about remembering not only their “firsts,” but their “lasts.” “Lasts” sneak up on us; we never know when they will be, and unless we’re really tuned into our children, those “last times” pass us by! Cherish this moment!

  14. P.S. I did not write “spill it” in my comment. That was in the box and I thought you’d put it there. And just now notice that it’s not there for the other comments! Oh, well. lol It just gives me another opportunity to say I loved your post on snuggling with your boy. How observant you are…noticing the texture of his hair. I doubt you – and he – will miss anything!

  15. Good one, JL. I was just thinking last night, as I was laying with Boo, that one day, I’ll walk into his room, look at his bed, and see a big, hairy leg sticking out from under the quilt! 🙁

  16. I love this post. Although my son is still only two I’ve been thinking alot about how I’m gonna miss these toddler and preschool years once they’re gone. I hope I don’t forget what he was like but I’m sure I won’t remember it all. How sad that we can’t keep all those memories and forget the stupid song lyrics that somehow forever stay embedded in our heads.

  17. Yes, it’s maddening, isn’t it? Just the other day I was trying to remember what it felt like to hold my son when he was an infant. It depressed me that I couldn’t recall the memory instantly.

  18. Now you got me all crying this morning. I just did that same thing this morning, curled up next to my little boy who is now getting so big. I just hate it! I am seeing my daughter losing her sweet little baby look- the dimples in her hands and her whole body becoming long and lean. I miss those pudgy rolls and fat cheeks more than I can say 🙁 It is so hard to see them brow up like this.

  19. How sweet! I feel the same way…I love to snuggle up with my kids, but am often astonished at how much they have grown. I will be sitting with my son on my lap and marvel at how long he seems all of the sudden, or stroking my daughter’s hair and be in awe of how it has grown so fast! But as I have discovered…this blog thing is such a wonderful little time capsule!

  20. OMG….this post brought tears to my eyes!! I just got done putting my little ones to bed (3 and 1) and I cannot even imagine them not being little like this. I just posted about being happy and sad about my 3 year old getting bigger. I am not ready for her baby fine hair to be gone….ahhh you made me choke up!! Great post!!

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