The Stories of Us

Posted by on October 28, 2011

For a few years, I documented all sorts of things from my day to day life here…but the most important things I documented were about my children. Everything was new and exciting and there were so many firsts. Like a soda bottle that had been jostled a bit too much, I was always bubbling over with emotions and feelings that I just had to get out.

There are still firsts now, as there always are until we shed these mortal coils, but I no longer feel the urge to share them. Or rather, I can’t seem to collect everything I’m feeling into any kind of order anymore and thus, I rarely even try.

Why is it all so hard now?

With older kids, maybe it’s just our stories that are more complicated. They’re not just about me parenting a baby and a preschooler anymore. The other parties involved now talk and have opinions and at least one has a life of her own with it’s own complexities and dramas that aren’t really even mine to write about.

Or maybe I’m just too busy.  I used to think “Well, I work a lot more now that they’re both in school. When things slow down, I’ll make the time to really get my thoughts together and start writing more.”

But even when I have down time, trying to put words to my days and disentangle my streams of consciousness is nearly impossible. The harder I try, the more elusive those words are and yet, it’s killing me to know that every day that passes is a day gone—a day that I will never ever get back; a day that I didn’t write about; a memorable moment I didn’t document; a feeling that was so intense and so important to me that it almost hurt to think about and pains me even more to know I won’t remember next year.

It all seems like so much effort and I kind of hate myself for being so careless with these things. My memories are so fleeting and often reduced to snapshots and tidbits of insignificant nonsense and honestly, it scares me how little I remember about my own life—the details that grow fuzzier with each year and the things friends recount to me that I have ABSOLUTELY no recollection of at all.

But that is not important—I don’t care so much about my childhood memories.

This, however, is a part of my life I do want to remember—I want to remember every feeling and emotion and the everything-in-between of being a mom to my kids. For better or worse, I never want to forget any of it and yet, the most I have to show for the past few years is a hard drive full of disorganized photos.

There were stories that went with those photos; funny moments, sad moments, firsts and lasts and minutiae that only means anything to this family.

Maybe if I’d never stopped, I’d still be able to do it.

My eyes threaten stupid, regretful tears when I think of all the time I’ve wasted…when I should have been writing the stories of us.

 


10 Comments

  • Beta Dad says:

    Word. I can’t even comment properly anymore.

  • Apryl's Antics says:

    Perhaps it’s nature’s way to to make our memories fuzzier to help ease the pain of how quickly time passes and how rapidly they grow up….and away.

    No worries. I remember lots of stuff you did. :)

  • Libby says:

    I tried to write in a journal for my daughter every day. Yeah, that didn’t work out. I figure this way I can make memories more exciting.

  • Carabee says:

    This perfectly summarizes how I’ve been feeling. It must be the will, because I’m certainly not lacking for material, but day after day pass and I do nothing. I write nothing. I was looking at my archives the other day. Those earliest years, I was writing 4, 5 even 6 days a week. I was so full of words. I wish I could get that back.

  • Jack says:

    The stories surrounding older kids are more complicated and some times harder to write about because they are no longer solely our stories.

    When they are infants and toddlers we run the show but when they get a bit older they have more influence on things. It might not be complete but you can see yours dwindling and theirs growing.

  • The Other Elle says:

    Amazing.
    You may not be writing the stories of you — but you just wrote the story of me.
    Thanks for putting it into words for me.

  • Agree. I think it’s partly b/c I’m more self-conscious of the Things and their friends having access to what I write. Some stuff is more complicated, delicate because of their growing up. Sometimes I worry I’ll be repeating stories of the past. Sometimes I just want to nap.

  • I totally hear ya. And this part: that aren’t really even mine to write about. I feel that way a lot. Readers are asking for more life stories, but sometimes there just isn’t much to tell. But I’m trying to tell it my way, my side of the story anyway. I’m going to try to do better this year.

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