Warren amazes me with how much he can remember. He can pull up events from months before and talk about the details. He recalls names of people he’s met only once, and can recollect places we’ve been to briefly. It’s not always perfect, but the gist is pretty impressive.
I was sitting at the table with him during lunch one day and had a sad thought come to mind. Despite his ability to remember so many things, the everyday details of his life thus far will eventually become only a blur at best. Everything that I do with him, day in and day out–all our little routines and activities, will only be a foggy memory. Think about it: how much do you remember from when you were four years old? I can recall 2 vivid memories, but the rest are just floating around in my past. It breaks my heart just a little knowing that he won’t remember how much we laughed at the silly faces he makes at the table every day, or how we read “A Light In The Attic” together on the couch at least once a week, or how he runs into our room every morning to announce that it’s 7AM with unbridled enthusiasm. Things that are a part of his everyday life, but he won’t remember in 20 years.
But then another thought occurred. He many not remember those details, per se, but he will remember the happy feelings that accompany them. They become, I believe, one big collective memory. I came across a quote that reminded me of my role in this process:
Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children. –Charles R. Swindoll
I guess it’s not so much the details, events, or activities that I need to focus on but how I’m helping my children feel each day. I want to know that I’m contributing to the collective good– that their memories of childhood conjure feelings of peace and happiness.