It occurred to me recently that my daughter is now old enough to start creating permanent memories. My first memories date back to the time I was around four. My maternal grandmother, after whom I am named, died when I was three and I have just slivers of her, like faint Polaroids that never quite developed, in my head. My middle sister was born when I was four and a half and most of my memories are pretty solid from that time on.
This past Friday night, the moon was said to be the closest, brightest full moon I'd ever see again in my lifetime. So, at around 9 p.m. I called the kid outside onto the deck, making sure she had on a pair of slippers to go with her princess nightgown. The temperatures were in the single digits. We shivered on the deck for a few brief moments, ooh-ing and ah-ing over the spectacular sky. She then ran into the house and made her daddy come and look, too. He complied but then grumbled about how it was too cold to be outside. I asked, "But what if this is the thing she remembers when she is 30? What if she says, 'Remember the time we saw the brightest moon?'"
Sometimes I find it a little depressing that she won't remember all the fun stuff we've done up to now: the road trips, the flights, the festivals. We took her to Texas when she was two and all she could remember from that trip was that we'd had eggs for breakfast one day. This is exactly the reason we have not taken her to Disney World yet. Well, that and the fact that I'd have to sell a kidney to afford it.
I suppose all we, as parents, can really hope is that our children are left with the sense that they were well-loved in the early years, even if they have no specific recollection of that time. In our case, our daughter will have plenty of photos she can use to confirm we didn't lock her in the basement for the first few years. In fact, I have over 4,000 photos on my hard drive that were taken from her birth until now. She has been on the planet fewer than 2,000 days so I'd say that's . . . pretty obnoxious. What can I say? I waited a long time for the privilege of irritating friends and family members. Thank goodness for Facebook, which allows me to annoy everyone simultaneously.