Tuesday, May 12, 2009


I try to write everything down so that when my kids grow into obnoxious teens who want nothing to do with me, I can go back and read--through my tears--about the way they used to love me. Ben reminded me last night, after having a bad dream, that we used to rock together in a rocking chair in his room to help him fall back to sleep after such episodes. I'd sing a James Taylor song to him, changing the lyrics to "Rock-A-Bye Sweet Baby Ben" instead of Baby James. It worked from his infancy right up until he was five. I had forgotten all about it.

How does that happen, that we forget all those wonderful little gems, even the ones we did for years with our children? Signing with them as babies; stacking blocks for them to knock over every morning; their waking up singing in their cribs; the silly names Ben had for everyone before he could pronounce words clearly. For God's sake, this is the stuff I need to hold onto to get me through the rough days, the days when reality scores so high on the suck-o-meter that withdrawal is the only option.

Today, for example, after getting up at 5:30 (thanks, Ben) and staying up to get Jacob ready for a class trip, I sat on the couch with my bucket of coffee thinking about my first day home alone with Jacob. He was just a couple of weeks old. It was a cold, rainy morning and I was scared out of my wits, on the verge of hormonally-induced tears, sure that I would somehow mess this up. As if to spite me, Jacob was a dream baby all day. I still remember the song that was playing on the radio as his dad left for work, and to this day consider it 'our' song.

Daydreaming about this helped me to ignore the dog humping his pillow, the hamper full of laundry that needs washing and the piles of books to be edited and bills to be paid, despite my fatigue and nagging headache. People knock delusions, but sometimes it's nice to live in the past. So here's another deposit in the memory bank, for later withdrawal. Literally.


Snowbrush said...

The question being, do you lap your coffee with your tongue, or do you hold the bucket above your mouth with both hands and pour it through a funnel?

Such forgotten sweetnesses characterize a marriage too after many years. I miss many of Peggy's earlier habits of ways of speaking.

Christine Orchanian Adler said...

Oh, a funnel. Definitely.