Moments Become Memories

A few months ago, I went to a baby shower where they asked attendees to write down some advice about parenting. I went back and forth between wanting to write down little tidbits of info I’d learned over the years versus saying my advice is to ignore all the advice. I ended up writing nothing.

But I’ve been thinking about it a lot since then, so here is my advice:

Live one moment at a time and appreciate each moment for what it is.

There will be good moments and bad moments and happy moments and sad moments.
And there will be some moments you want to remember for ever
and some moments you want to forget.
All those moments put together are what make you the parent you become.

When my kids were little,
I had so many people tell me that I would one day look back and miss it.
That hasn’t been true for me.
Sure, I get melancholic sometimes and old pictures can make tears sting my eyes,
But it doesn’t make me sad
And I don’t wish that I could go back to when they were little.
I think that’s because when I was in the moment, I realized it was a moment.
In an effort to make sure I remembered everything,
I photographed and I wrote and I bottled up as many memories as I could.
Do I remember it all?
Of course not.
But can I recall the feeling of a newborn having the hiccups while lying on my chest,
And the joy of seeing that first smile,
And the pure frustration a baby who never.stops.crying.
I can hear the giggles of toddlers watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.
I can close my eyes and go back to those early days of homeschooling where I wasn’t sure we were doing it right, and I feel the excitement and uncertainty wrapped up in each other.

I can’t remember it all, but I can remember the moments who made me me,
the moments that made us us.

And I hope I’m doing the same thing now.
Our life is so incredibly busy.
We’re constantly running from one rehearsal to another practice to another meeting.
But I still take things one moment at a time.
I look for the beautiful moments and put them in my pocket.
Buying 8 different syrups to make lattes together.
Waving hand-made pom-poms at a band competition.
Laughing together at TikTok.
Listening to them “play” Twinkle, Twinkle with the dryer buttons.
Watching Stranger Things with kids piled on top of me even though the sofa is big enough for us to all have our own seats.

I like to think that one day I’ll feel about these days like I do about the early days of motherhood.
I hope that I’ll remember more of the good than the bad.
I hope that I’ll think, “That was beautiful and wonderful and fun, but I’m glad it’s done.”
I hope I am living these moments to the fullest so that there’s nothing to look back on and wonder if I could have done more.

If I wished myself a superpower
I would make this moment last for hours
If I had my will, time would just stand still
Wait for me until I find some magic film
To take a photograph and live inside

I need some way to prove that this was real
A memory is not enough
I’m scared that I’ll forget the way it feels
To be young and in love

Let me stay right here
Just a moment longer
The picture is so clear
Please let this last forever

“Photograph” by Cody Fry

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