Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Childhood & Memory


The moments are slow but the years are fast, and our brains discard so many of the small moments that make life so beautiful.

The kids and I were talking in the car recently about how the brain decides what will be remembered and what will be forgotten. How we can't remember every moment, so our brain makes executive decisions about what will be important for us in the future. 

The kids were annoyed until I pointed out that we wouldn't want to remember every time we went to the loo or blew our nose or did the many boring things we do again and again. 

But we all agreed that we wished we had more say in what we remember and what we forget. 

The librarian in me wants to present a collection policy to my brain. This: we remember. This: we forget. 

I fear my brain has evolved to remember the things necessary for survival - the hard things, the dangerous things, the new and unusual things. I wish to remember the moments that make my heart sing. The sweet and the heart melting. The small things. 

My youngest child is leaving the 'little stage' and nostalgia fills me. (A familiar state to be honest - I first remember feeling nostalgic at about the same age my little Dinosaur is now). 

I want to remember each thing she says, each inflection of her voice, the way she curls to me in her sleep, the feel of her small hand in mine, but life is so busy, and so much is forgotten. 

I love this photo - her face is so serene, and yet her hair shows her inner wild!

These photos are from moments on a swing, on the first day my mum flew up from Victoria for a week. The first time we'd seen her in a year, apart from my grandmothers funeral. 

And my Little Dinosaurs' joy in having focused attention was so wonderful and so bittersweet. The Sickness has kept so many of us from our 'village', and within the house with all the busyness and stress I worry about the benign neglect of our youngest. 

She is never short of absent minded kisses, distracted hugs, someone to tell her they love her, siblings to squabble with, pets to over-love, but she misses out on the focused attention her older siblings got. I remember all the trips to museums, zoos, national park, the stretch of coast we took her older siblings to almost every weekend while their dad was studying for his med degree down in Victoria, the beaches we visited almost daily when we lived on the coast.

Our dinosaur gets walks - the same walk really, up past Owl Tree, down Wallaby Hill, down by Millipede Stream and past the cow paddocks and back - trips to the much depleted local dam (9.1% capacity at the moment) and many, many school runs. 

I content myself she doesn't seem unhappy. And when all the days are full of small things, hopefully more small things are remembered. 


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