Before I was a mother, I remembered everything. Every moment. Every joy. Every transgression. I never forgot to RSVP for a party. I never let a due date for a bill slip my mind. I never returned a book late to the library.
It’s easy to recall important things when it’s just you. When you add three more people (and a husband) to your concerns, it becomes a lot harder to keep it all straight.
But that’s not what I’m talking about.
When I first became pregnant, I was overjoyed. The two long years of “trying” had finally resulted in a child growing inside me. I was going to be mom, something I never knew I even wanted, until I did.
I quickly forgot that in the nausea that overwhelmed me every time I tried to cook ground beef. In the swelling feet. In the over-frequent trips to the bathroom. In the sleeping baby that turned into a kung Fu master every time I tried to lie down to sleep.
Pregnancy turned out to be something I did not enjoy. At all.
When the day finally arrived for the birth—or rather, when my due date arrived and the false labor was getting to be too much to bear—the doctor decided to induce actual labor.
12 hours of waiting. Pushing. Distress.
The size of my pelvic bones would not allow natural birth to occur, and emergency surgery ensued.
My epidural wore off in the melee. In the midst of contractions, they had me sit on a table and bend over while the anesthesiologist stabbed me in the spine with a cocktail to numb my lower half.
I could still feel the contractions, but couldn’t do anything about them. Couldn’t move my legs. Couldn’t feel the tearing of my stomach.
And then he was there.
And I forgot.
I forgot how much I hated being pregnant. I forgot that he used my bladder as a punching bag. I forgot that the previous 12 hours had been hellish.
Recovery was hard. I was in the hospital for four days. Two months before I was healed enough to actually do life as a normal human again.
But that boy filled my heart with love I didn’t even realize I had the capacity for.
And then I forgot. And I did it twice more. Mirror images of the first, with the only exceptions being that the surgery was planned.
Three pregnancies in four years. Five years of using my body to either make babies or feed them.
They grew. They interrupted my sleep. They played. They fought. They ate. They slept.
Diapers. Binkies. Blankets.
Toddlers are hard.
Three toddlers are impossible.
And I forgot.
I forgot how hard it was to do everything with three people attached to me. I forgot that I didn’t have one single full night of sleep for seven years. I just forgot.
School changed everything.
Teachers. Sports. Cub Scouts. Girl Scouts. Dance. Friends. Church.
Girls. Boys. Drama.
Today we watched a video of them through the years and my overwhelmed heart remembered it all.
But the remembering was for the joy of it all. The love. The happiness.
That’s what kids do to you. You become forgetful in the best way possible.