To unknow

It would be a terrible thing for our memories to fail. To forget what it felt like when G had hiccups in utero. To forget how he patted my face when I nursed him. To forget the first time I kissed Mary. How small she seemed. How surprised I am, over and over, by how small she is.

Swimming naked at night. Leaping off a roof. The way it feels to pedal a bicycle, to climb a tree, to dance. To flex your muscles. The ache in your lungs when you run in the winter. The unsteadiness before a presentation. To look up in the Sistine Chapel. How close I came to drowning.

What it felt like when my heart broke. To sit with the pieces afterward and repair myself. The first time I heard the Cure. The first time I played guitar. How my life changed when I started to cry without reservation.

The moment I stopped being ashamed. Just let that shit fall away and left it behind. To marry. To vow and kiss and wear a ring. To wake every morning with joy. The dogs skittering. The inevitable Americano. Those beautiful yellow weeds on the hillside.

The thing that cannot be categorized is quality of life. What is the quality of your life? How often do you sing yourself? How often are you still, and grateful?

This morning, Gavin said, “I’m going to give you two kisses.” And then, a moment later, added, “OK. One more.” There isn’t enough of this. Do you see? There isn’t enough. Remember to notice. Notice everything.

3 thoughts on “To unknow”

  1. Thank you. A reminder to remember. So much beauty and laughter to notice and participate in…like the first time I heard my daughter read aloud. She’d been the quiet child sitting in the middle while I read or Barbara read or her brother read. Then, one day she said, I want to read. Without ever reading out loud before she read page after page. It was magic.

  2. I love that! The first time Gavin read, he was impossibly small, and it was like a spell. I held my breath and he finished the entire book and then he read it again from the beginning. Magic is exactly right.

  3. It’s crazy how your memories are so physical. They are sensational. Mine are none of that. My memories are entirely emotional. Solemnity of my mother teaching me a prayer. Chagrin after making a bad toy trade with a classmate. Triumph of finding that I could grind a stick to a point (for a bow) on the sidewalk.

    And just like that I realize how what my parents thought of me was absolute paramount. Shit. And ouch.

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