What My Son Won't Remember But I Always Will
by Julia Pelly
February 12, 2016
A few weeks ago, as the super storm dumped ice and snow and sleet on our city, my little family stocked up on groceries and got ready for a long, locked-in weekend.
Conventional wisdom (and all the parents ever) says that parenting through a blizzard can painful and –true- our house is a little worse for wear than it was before the storm hit but, much to our surprise, our weekend was fantastic.
We made a snowman, and we went sledding. We read books for hours in the blanket fort we made in the living room. We lay on our backs and caught snowflakes on our tongues. We stirred homemade hot chocolate and, with a hearty helping of rainbow sprinkles, a batch of milky ice-cream made from snow. There were no tears, no fits, no tantrums.
Exhausted from play, and from endless mommy and daddy time, naps and bedtimes were simple and pleasant. The weekend that was supposed to be madness was, instead, a weekend of parental fantasy.
My boy turned two the weekend before the storm, and, in the past month his vocabulary has become broader and his words clearer. As we snuggled after his bath on the snowy Saturday night, he asked to look out the window.
As he peered out at the falling snow, he pressed one hand to the window glass and one on my check, he turned his eyes towards mine and, with earnestness I’ve not before seen in him, he said, simply, “I love you, mommy, thank you for snow.”
The weekend, our snowy, locked in blizzard was beautiful. It’s a weekend that I’ll remember for the rest of my life. My son, though? The one who made it so memorable for me? He won’t remember a thing.
Though he’ll probably recall the snow for a little while, and beg for snow ice-cream for a little while longer, by the time he’s a boy, the memories will have faded away. He won’t recall the cuddles in our blanket fort or the snowman he patted into being. He won’t remember staying up for extra books or cracking the eggs for our brunch. He won’t remember his first sled ride or the wetness of the snow or the way his hands turned pink before he was ready to come inside.
Though my boy won’t remember our beautiful weekend, I’m confident that time that we spent and the love that we shared made quite an impact.
My son won’t remember how he stretched and reached to tie the blanket above our couch or how her placed pillow carefully on the floor, but I hope moments like these will stack upon one another until he knows, fully and without question, that ours is the kind of home it’s okay to make a mess in as long as were making it together.
He won’t remember staying up late for extra books or how mommy and daddy fought sleep as hard as him to enjoy a few more minutes. He won’t remember which books we read over and over or the way hi curled his body into mine when his eyes wouldn’t stay open any longer. In the years to come, however, I hope he feels the same sense of comfort and calm as he craws into the big bed for stories. I hope he associates words with warmth and books with love and the sound of my reading voice with happiness.
My boy won’t remember helping make our family brunch or stirring the hot chocolate and the snow ice cream, we’ve started traditions that I hope we’ll continue for years to come. As he grow and changes, I hope that he’ll look forward to each year’s first snow and the special treats that will come along with it. I hope as the air cools he’ll smile at the thought of hot chocolate and check the pantry and the refrigerator for ingredients and that, as he cracks and mixes and stirs, he feels connected to years past and years to come.
My beautiful son won’t remember the wetness of the snow or the cool of the air, the pink of his hands or the aches that come along with coming into the warm again. He won’t remember the thrill of his first sled ride or the way the wind blew through his hair as he tumbled down the little hill. I hope, though that the fun he had during the snow will spark a love of the outdoors and an association between joy and open air.
My boy is too little to remember tomorrow the things that we did last month. In time, the little bits of recall from our wonderland weekend will slip away from him forever.
But I’ll remember. I’ll remember it all. And through my memories, and the experiences my husband and I create for him in the years to come, the weekend will live on within him.