"God showed me something small, no bigger than a hazelnut, lying in the palm of my hand… and it was round as a ball. I looked at it with the eye of my understanding and thought: 'What can this be?' And it was generally answered thus: 'It is all that was made.' It was so small I thought it might disappear, but I was answered... everything has being through the love of God." --Julian of Norwich

Friday, June 6, 2014

A note to my future self

I just want to remember everything.

Remembering is important, because when you break it down into its parts, it literally means to put something back together... re-member.  It's the opposite of dis-member, to take apart.  When God remembers Israel in the Old Testament it preserves them and holds them together, even puts them back together like the army in the prophet Ezekiel's Valley of Dry Bones.  When God remembers us it means that he will be able to restore us to perfection at the resurrection.   I feel like remembering this life, storing away the memories of precious times gives me a glimpse of resurrection too.

I want to remember how Julianne’s newborn hair fell out gradually (unlike Lucy’s which just wiped right off with a washcloth and made me panic), and how it left behind one Tintin-like fauxhawk bit that sticks up at the back.  How her hair sticks up in feathery tufts after a nap.  Her little bird legs, her long, long toes, her strong rolly-polly thighs and arms, how her left ear is still a bit smaller than her right.  Her squawky little cry.  Her faces:  stretchy face (arms up over the head, cheeks so fat and sweet), sleep smiles, angry-cry face, trembly lip. Each of the things that all babies do, but Julianne does in her own little Julianne way.

I want to remember how Lucy is growing up.  How she looks at books in her room for hours, finishing each book meticulously before moving on (and how that lovely habit backfires when it’s time to transition to a new activity, “I’m almost ready” she says on the first page of a book, the same first page which she is still telling herself a story about five minutes later.) 

How she uses words bigger than she is:  “Mommy, this [serving] spoon is enormous!”  “Look at those fluttering flags!”  How she is starting to make up silly, repetitive, imaginative games, running from “scary guy” or playing hide and seek or cooking me something in her toy kitchen.

How excited she was to meet Julianne and hold her the first day, but how freaked out she was by this wiggling, squirming real person in her arms, this person who came home with us.  How she turned to me one day at the kitchen table and asked, really quietly, “Can we send her back?” while the look on her face confirmed that she was just nervous about everything changing.  How she says “JooyeeANN” proudly to anyone who asks her sister’s name.  How she delights in her own newborn picture on the fridge next to the baby’s and declares with pride that it was her when she was a tiny baby.  How they’re both wearing the same first outfit in those pictures. 

How Lucy’s favorite food is waffles.  How she never lets eating gluten-free get her down. (I also want to remember with pride the effort I put into making sure that we all eat together--either gluten-free or at very least that she has food that is equivalent to what the rest of us are eating.)

How brown her eyes are and how her skin just soaks up the summer sunshine until she glows.  How her hair is exactly the same auburn color as mine, and how it curls at the ends, flying every which way.

I want to remember what our life looks like right now.  How tiny our apartment is (only 780 square feet!).  How Lucy still sleeps in her crib with the side off and Julianne sleeps in the co-sleeper by our bed.  How I struggle to manage the stuff:  stuff that clutters and stuff that comes in and out of the apartment making piles by the door.

How much we enjoy our walks to the park, to Main Street, to the Bagel shop and the gluten-free cheese bun shop and the gluten-free cookie shop and the coffee shop.  How warm and wonderful the sun feels on our skin this spring and how cool the breeze.

Several times a day I wonder if these are my last weeks in the Vancouver that I’ve fought to make my home, and a scratchy lump forms in my throat.  I have to close my eyes to keep from crying.  I love this place.  I love this life.  But everything changes, life moves on.  At least I can remember it.


What are the sensory details that you want to remember about your life right now?

No comments:

Post a Comment