Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Permanent Marker

Lately I've found myself trying to remember. I intently try to memorize certain aspects of my children's personalities, actions and words. As Abby and Henry are doing/saying/growing/learning, I pause and watch. Hoping, if I sit long enough and concentrate hard enough, that I will etch, with permanent force, the essence of that moment.

How can I capture Abby's budding sense of humor? Can I pull out my Sharpie and indelibly commit to memory the round chub of Henry's cheek which gives way to the innocent curve of his pink lips? How will I conjure the sunlight illuminating the white-blond hair that frames Abby's face and gives way to her cascading golden curls? The belly laughs? The bone-crushing, soul-lifting bear hugs that fill my heart with warmth and light?

I have already experienced, in six short years, memory loss. I cannot elicit certain funny phrases or the sweet smell of my baby's breath which is one of my all-time favorite scents. (I recall burying my nose into their mouths, inhaling the tender scent of their breath, promising myself I would be able to somehow recreate that smell in my mind. I also remember Hubby walking into the room whilst my nose was jammed into either Abby or Henry's mouth--Hubby thought I'd lost my marbles.)

I can't remember how it feels to rub the silky arms that yielded to chunky wrists. I can no longer summon the sound of coos and gurgles.

The passing of these perishable moments breaks my heart; I continue, nonetheless, to cherish them all. And even though I cannot remember each in all of its light and dimension, I remain hopeful. Still pausing, still waiting, still manically memorizing--with Sharpie in hand. Sketching the moments so I can pull them out, however faded, and use them like a salve for my yesterday-missing soul. I strive to simultaneously revel in the past, live in the now and prepare for the yet-unknown, Sharpie-worthy moments of the future.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

SNL, Meet Henry

Henry loves caulk. If it's caulk-related, it's cool with Henry. He loves hubby's work shirt with caulk smudges all over it. He thinks a fun afternoon includes carrying around a tube of caulk. He adores the painters who prepared our house for painting because they got to apply lots of ... caulk.

He enjoys it when hubby gets all caulky (couldn't resist) when doing house repairs.

The caulk conversations and random caulk thoughts Henry shares range from humorous to slap-your-thigh-with-tears-running-down-your-face hysterical. Following are some of my favorites. If they aren't that funny when you read them, try saying them out loud. I dare you not to laugh.

1. "Daddy has a caulk on his head." (Hubby worked all day in the basement and had a little pile of dirt and caulk sitting on the top of his hair.)

2. Henry grabbed hubby's face just after waking up one morning. "Daddy? Do you like to eat caulk?" Somehow, hubby was able to answer this repeated question with a straight face.

3. Henry and I shopped at the grocery store. When I turned my head to concentrate on the bread ingredient lists, I peripherally heard Henry announce, "Yeah, we've got some sweaty caulks in here. Yup, some sweaty caulks."


The shock and crazy laughter I experienced doubled me over. I grabbed my phone to text hubby and friends. I could hardly see the letters on my phone through the tears. It was as if he was channeling two different Saturday Night Live skits--Alec Baldwin's "Schweaty Balls" and the more recent "DIY Caulk" skit with Jason Lee. (I love and highly recommend both; however, if you don't enjoy word puns about the male anatomy, I'd skip them.)

4. I took Henry upstairs for bedtime. He had been dutifully carrying his caulk tube around. When he realized he'd forgotten it downstairs he yelled, "Momma! I want to sleep with my caulk!"

I sarcastically thought, "No problem." I did retrieve his caulk for him while laughing myself silly. Freud would have a ball with this. Maybe two.