Lately, for reasons I cannot pinpoint, earlier memories from my son's life have come flooding back to me. Not the big, important occasions (that have certainly been documented with photo upon photo). Not those. The little memories. Reminders of weird habits, funny moments, silly rituals, hilarious statements. And, I think to myself, these are the things I want to always remember.
Lately, Gavin has been wanting me to sing him a song as I'm tucking him into bed. So, I sing him the song I sang to him all the time when I was pregnant. The first time I laid down next to him, in his twin bed with his squirmy self, I was reminded how I used to do this same thing just a year or so ago. I remembered the night he first started learning the words to the song. I was lying next to him, on my side, and he was staring up at the ceiling. As I sang, I heard his little baby voice trying to sing along with me. Except, he had the words all wrong. It was so adorable, and so funny, that I started laughing. Then, he started laughing. It took us over 10 minutes to finish the song because we were both laughing so hard. Every time I started singing again, he would start, and we would both start laughing. I don't want to forget that moment.
The same night, after I finished singing the song, I laid there next to him for a few minutes. For some reason, it reminded me of the nights he would wake one, two, three, maybe even four times in the middle of the night, and I would lay in his bed with him until he fell back asleep - all in an effort to keep him from constantly coming into my bed in the night. A little part of me missed laying there with him, listening to his breathing change, holding him close, smelling his baby shampoo. It made me want to sleep there all night, just once, before he's too big or doesn't want me laying down next to him anymore.
Today, he sang the entire alphabet song. Without my help. And, he got all the letters right. I stopped for a moment because I realized he's never done that before. We've worked and worked on the alphabet song, and now, he can do it on his own. It brought a huge smile to my face, and it brought a little sadness at the same time. Just another realization of how quickly time passes.
Every night that I tuck him in, I tell him, "Good night. Sleep tight. Don't let the bed bugs bite. And if they do, you hit them with a shoe." Recently, he got to pick out a new pair of slippers that he insists on wearing to bed so, we've had to change the saying to, "And if they do, you hit them with a slipper." Now, every time I kiss him goodbye, he tells me to sleep tight and not to let the bed bugs bite - even when I'm dropping him off at daycare at 7:00 in the morning. The other day, I picked him up from daycare during his nap time. He opened his eyes, sat up, looked me square in the face, and said, "I slept tight so the bed bugs didn't bite me." My heart melted a little.
These things - these moments that haven't been document by photos, these small instances that seem so ordinary and typical - they are the things I hope I never forget. And, maybe that's why I stay up until well after midnight writing these things down sometimes. I know I'm creating a lasting treasure of my son's childhood.
Get thee to an independent bookstore.
12 hours ago