Last night, I ran the brush through her hair. Gently, I endeavored to get out the knots–without tears– that gather so easily at the end of her long strands. I stopped suddenly, mid-stroke, and stared at Chloe’s hair. The back of her head looked a little less blonde than those baby days when white hair rested atop her head. And I had one of those feelings common in parenthood, or during those visits with relatives far away, when I know the moment will end soon.
Honestly, I couldn’t care less if any of my children have blonde hair. I’m a brunette who has always been happy with her color. I’ve shied away from highlights for fear of turning platinum, and, if anything, my quests to cover gray have ended with hair darker than my natural color.
But standing there, looking at Chloe’s blonde streaks, I knew I had to take that moment to stare because, before my eyes, she was changing. I don’t worry about Chloe’s hair color–I worry about forgetting.
I have a horrible memory. I frustrate my parents when I can’t remember special trips we took as a family or that Christmas when so-and-so did such-and-such. I’ve thought that perhaps Matt had a girlfriend on the side with whom he was confusing me when he swears I saw a movie with him in the theater that I’ve never heard of before. I thank God that I didn’t do drugs in school–I might not remember my name if I did.
So when I look at Chloe’s hair, still blonde but not as blonde, I am reminded that she is changing before my eyes. I am reminded that I can’t quite remember Caleb’s cheerful voice or giggle as a rambunctious two-year-old. I am reminded that I can’t remember much at all of Hannah Grace as a baby; her baby years were during a very stressful time in our life. I am reminded that I need to take note, hold tight in my memory, those precious moments that seem insignificant but make each child unique.
I want to remember Chloe’s white hair.
I want to remember the death stare she gives relatives when she’s not amused.
I want to remember how she jumped from beds and chairs and stairs and anything that she could use to give her a few more inches off the ground.
I want to remember how Chloe talks better than any two-year-old I’ve ever met and uses complete sentences to answer most questions. And I even want to remember when her voice got a little squeaky and could give me a headache by the end of the day.
I want to remember, “Supergirl to the rescue!” and black Sharpie marker all over her forehead and hair and bottom and far too many other places.
And I want to remember when she would wrap her arms around my neck, her legs around my waist, and lay her head on my shoulder while saying, “I love you so much.”
There are so many things I want to remember, and I fear my memory won’t do her justice.
So, baby girl, when I brush your hair for a few minutes longer than I have to, I’m not trying to annoy you--I just don’t want to forget.
I hope you’ll indulge me this week as I devote one post to each child. I looked over my last few posts, and very few were about them. However, I have some events that I need to record because I will forget–but they are worth remembering.
7 thoughts on “I Brush Her Hair”
This is wonderful, Jennifer. I have the same fear of forgetting and not holding onto those precious moments. Because they go so fast but in the moment it seems like such a simple thing and it seems like it will always be that way so you shouldn't have to put effort into remembering. But then months later, the moment has changed and all you have is your memory of it.
and wow did i just get nostalgic in your comments. must go get caffeine.
Thanks, Krista. Don't worry–I depressed myself when I reread my post! 🙂
Oh, my. You and I must have been separated at birth (well, other than for the fact
that we look nothing alike!). I have the exact same issues with memory and often
frustrate Matt. I worry about the same issue of forgetting
my kids’ stories but I never write them down because
I keep telling myself: how could I possibly forget this??? But then I do.
So I started a blog 🙂
I love when you write about my grandbabies; because all too often, it brings back memories to me of when i was a stay at home mom with my precious girls. 🙂 I remember Grandma always telling the same stories over and over, and then explaining her reason; she did not want to FORGET them.
The pictures of Chloe are beautiful and i forgot how adorable she was in the first picture. 🙂
I think Grandma had a pretty good plan, and, honestly, I think we've all adopted it (or at least Matt would say so) 🙂
Beautiful post, and I hear you. In the end, we do forget somethings. My heart breaks when I see an old picture and can't remember the occasion. I knew it once… I just can't remember anymore. It doesn't change my heart. I like you, knew I would be forgetful, I tried to cherish ever little thing. My guess is that while we might forget, they won't… Isn't that the most important thing anyway?
You are right about that one–my kids don't forget anything, especially those things I'd wish they'd forget! 🙂