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.