Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Memories. Or, Waylaid and Forgetful in IEP Season

I started this post weeks ago, before I got waylaid by the sticky emotional muck of IEP season. Maybe you know something about that. Since then I've been yearning to get back here, to this space, to the habit and practice of writing.

When I sat here last looking at this blank space, on May 7th, I had an idea about something I wanted to say and got started with a few sentences about the stuff of memories. But now, ironically, I can't for the life of me remember what it was I meant to say. So to save this from going into the unfinished draft pile, I'll just commit the beginning here and call it the end.

To get to whatever it was I was getting to, I had to begin by talking about RT and so I wrote:
It occurs to me that someone new here might not know that RT -- that is: Resident Teenager -- is the oldest member of our kid brigade. And in fact, RT is neither Resident or Teenager any longer. He is all the way into adulthood. Graduated from college. Making a life away from us in New York City. When I think about wanting to hold on to these childhood moments that I'm smack in the middle of with the other kids, thinking of RT reminds me that it's no joke: his childhood is a big blur to me.
Maybe it's different for other people, but I somehow didn't manage to collect a whole catalog of memories from his childhood the way I feel I should have. You know how many of those long, tedious days that you live through as a parent? The ones that feel just endless? Endless strings of endless days, sometimes. You imagine that they will be etched into your brain for the rest of your life. But they won't. They'll pass and be gone. Oh sure, if you really think about it, you might remember the (many) repeated attempts that he made to educate you on the finer points of Pokemon, but you won't really be able to picture the ragged nails on slender fingers holding a card out for you to admire or how bright his dark ebony eyes shone when he did. The things we notice about our kids that make us suck in our breath, jolted by an electric kind of love, aren't the sort of things captured in a photograph. They are as ephemeral as the slow smile that crosses a boy's face, a shadow of his father, as he spins a tall tale. As tender as the pink of new skin on a scabby knee.

That's all she wrote, friends. I wish I knew where I was going with it but as I head into another IEP meeting tomorrow maybe it's enough to remember that this, too, shall pass and that these are the days I will miss, all rolled into one.


  1. My first born is in his second year at university. I know how you feel! :)

    1. It feels so trite to say "It will be gone before you know it!" But that's the truth of it. Thank you for commenting, by the way.

  2. Talk with him and see what he remembers of his childhood.

    And his brothers and sisters and friends: what do they remember of him?

    These sensory memories are magical and real. And they connect with social understanding - his and yours.