It’s not just that I forget things like plans, I have forgotten whole chunks of my life for no apparent reason. I can’t remember anything about high school, for instance. I know I had a great time and that I had some really fun friends, but I can’t remember any details or stories. I can barely even remember college. I remember the same two or three exceptionally funny stories that always get retold around college friends, but that’s about it.
Sometimes I get bummed that I can’t remember anything from really great times in my life, but for the most part, I’m pretty happy with my in-the-moment mindset.
This weekend, though, the weather cooled off a bit so we opened the windows for the first time all year and a vivid memory from my childhood came over me. I had just changed Gracie and put her in a fresh, clean onesie. She was full and happy and sleepy, and as the breeze blew through her nursery and she drifted off to sleep, I distinctly remembered that same feeling when I was younger. I remembered my mom putting me down for a nap on hot afternoons with the windows open and the breeze blowing when I was probably about Bean’s age. I remember the feeling of laying there and hearing other neighborhood kids playing outside or family talking in other parts of our house. It was such a peaceful and content way to fall asleep.
The same thing happens when I go camping. When I lay in the tent and hear people walking by and the gravel crunching under their feet, I think back to when I was growing up. My parents took us camping all the time. I remember being in our little pop-up camper late at night with my sister sleeping next to me, listening to my parents talking quietly by the fire, as people walked by on their way to and from the bath house. To this day, the sound of people walking on gravel will make me stop and smile. It was – and still is – one of the most relaxing, comforting sounds in the whole world.
I remember the feeling of waking up sick in the middle of the night when I was younger, too. I’d be hot and sweaty from a fever and suddenly my mom would seem to appear out of nowhere with a cool washcloth. She’d pull my hair up and lay that cold washcloth on my neck. I don’t remember a specific time I was sick, but I vividly remember that feeling of my mom making me feel better.
Sometimes, I catch myself doing things for my babies and distinctly remembering the feeling I had when that same thing was done for me as a kid. This past weekend when I laid Gracie down and that breeze blew in, I stood there for a minute or two breathing it in, both remembering my own childhood and appreciating the one that my babies are living.
I’m glad that those memories of peacefulness and comfort and love that my parents gave to me are stronger than my very forgetful memory.
Though, on the plus side, I have found a forgetful memory often blocks low points in your past, too…