Thursday, October 8, 2015

Memories of Motherhood

As I was lying in bed tonight with my boys, ages 4 and 2, waiting for them to fall asleep... I began to think about memories.  For some reason, one of the vivid memories I have of life living on the Westside in California (near Santa Monica) is not in the apartment or even in the car (where I spent most of my time commuting through LA), but running (which I don't even do often) in the dark on the streets of LA, trying to keep up with my roommate who was a hs and college track star.  I remember it was on the way to darkness and gradually got darker as I was running.   I was focusing on the sidewalks, not wanting to trip over an uneven step, wondering how far I'd have to go before I caught up to her.  I couldn't fathom why anyone would run for fun.  I was miserable.  As my feet hit the sidewalk with each step of pathetic attempt to catch up, I wondered if I'd get lost, get hit by a car, or die of lung failure.

I never ran in the streets again after that night.  Shortly thereafter, I signed up for a gym, and I would continue my pathetic attempt at running for as long as my track star roommate, but it would be in the lighted comfort of a gym that made me feel safe despite the lackluster smells and overcrowded stuffy room.

I often wonder why that is the one memory I have of life on the Westside.  I try to remember what the bathroom looked like, what my bedroom set-up was, what the kitchen layout was, even the living room with our tiny TV.   I don't have a lot of photos from our apartment, a few here and there, but I wish I did so I could remember more.  Then again, it's not a time in my life that I want desperately to recall, but in a way the emptiness I cannot seem to piece together displaces me a bit.

And then, as I think of all the things I want to remember each day, the smells, the sounds, the happiness, the irritation, the bursts of desperation, the moments of genuine joy, I realized I should probably try to record it all again.

I want to remember the random things Bubba started mimicking his brother in bed at night that honestly made me want to slap them both, but also tickled me a bit at how fast they're growing.  I want to remember the sound of Jordan's legs scratching the walls as he tries to stay awake while I'm next to him.  I want to remember Bubba annoyingly grabbing my hair and murmuring "I want your hair" or "let it go hair Mommy?" when he's older and not even giving me hugs willingly.  I want to remember that I swept the kitchen floor (where we eat) about 5 times today and when I walk across the kitchen barefoot (that's how we Asians do it), I still picked up some crumbs - of what, I do not know nor do I want to know.  I want to remember Bubba drumming my hair back and forth with his eyes wide open not even a bit tired as I admitted unwillingly that it may be time to give up that two hour nap that gives me so much free time during the day.  I want to remember Dagny's sweet look of glee when she sees her Daddy come home, how much of an accessory she is on my hip (more than my other two), and how she has for some odd reason, taken a liking for her binkie once again today.  I want to remember the mustache tattoos I put on both boys and then took off with scotch tape and baby oil.  I want to remember having a sink clear of dishes because my sweet mother in law had us over for dinner again (we go about twice or three times a week).  I want to remember how quickly I was able to superwoman calm my son who walked into the bed frame in the dark after he closed the door with just a sweet hug and whisper that I love him.  I want to remember thinking how awesome I was that I cleaned both upstairs bathrooms in half an hour, but then how pathetic I was when I only managed to get ten minutes in on the elliptical before I decided I needed to comfort my happy baby who was awake in the room next door.  I want to remember my husband spending hours dedicated to setting up the projector that he is so excited about getting (both for his birthday and Christmas) as I pondered whether I should get him anything for his birthday that is this Saturday. I want to remember making 100+ macarons for my husband's best friend's wedding this weekend.   I want to remember talking on the phone with my BFF and sending her photos of my straight legged jeans circa 2007 with a thumbs up since flares are coming back in.  I want to remember sending my BFF songs from the throwback hip-hop station I found and jamming to 2Pac and P Diddy on the radio.  I want to remember Bubba picking out his own salmon shorts and a monster t-shirt to wear today.  I want to remember Jordan telling me it was okay that his PJs were still wet (because I put 'em in to wash too late) that he had originally wanted to wear for PJ day at school.  I want to remember that we had frozen pizza and a smoothie for lunch.  I want to remember all these things in my life.  I'm not sure why, but I just want to.  And they seem so mundane as I type them all out, but I still want to.  And so I'm going to start documenting again.

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