I find it hilarious that I had to write myself a note to remember the subject I'd come up with for today's post: Memory.
I was so excited that we were free from obligation today - the rest of this week, and all of last, we had to be somewhere at least once every single day. Today, however, Monday, May 6, was for playing and napping for Mama and Munchkin - especially Mama. I'm exhausted.
We had just settled our brains for a long morning nap - Munchkin was nursed and snoozing, and I was just about to close my eyes, when I heard a whispered, "I'm here!" I did a double take. The voice had come from the woman who helps me clean my house twice a month (don't hate - this started as a present from my MIL when I was pregnant and on bed rest, but we've kept it up because my husband and I SUCK at cleaning.) The only problem was, I wasn't expecting her until tomorrow. I was actually a bit miffed at first, as I was lying there pantsless (good thing we're friends) and completely out of it. I checked my past text messages - nothing from her that was to change the day to this Monday - our sacred, duty-free Monday. I was just about to say something passive-aggressive, when I remembered: on her way out the door two weeks ago, she had asked if we could change this week from our regular Tuesdays, and we had some back-and-forth about it being the first Monday in May. Drat. I had forgotten to write it down.
You've probably heard of "Mommy Brain" - the theft of brain cells by the fetus, who consumes them from his/her host, transforming the Mama into the intellectual equivalent of Mr. Magoo. My case is fairly severe. I think (ha) my IQ is somewhere around the level of a - oh, you know - that *thing* - the place where you throw rotted banana peels and such - a... seriously, as I write this, I can't remember the word for it... COMPOST HEAP. That's what I was trying to say. Sheesh. (Yes, it really is that bad.) My husband's always prompting me, "Use your words, honey..."
It's particularly disturbing because I'm an actor - I can recite whole Shakespearean soliloquies from plays I haven't done in 10 years with near-word-perfect accuracy, but ask me what I had for breakfast this morning, and I'm at a loss. Friends will regale me with tales of our escapades in school, and I stare at them blankly, giving them that "blink-blink" look that is usually accompanied by high-pitched xylophone sounds in old Tom and Jerry cartoons. I don't remember half of what I've done.
And this worries me. Do I think I have early-onset Alzheimer's? No. But I do worry about my ability to recall lines in plays I have yet to perform. What if my formerly freakishly steel-trap-like facility with language never comes back? I've already forgotten many of the events in my Munchkin's first year of life - each week I post a pic on FB recapping his progress for the week, and it's a struggle to remember the highlights. The days are so fleeting and precious - I don't want the images from them to slip away into the ether!
I've started a "To Remember" file on my phone of moments with the Munchkin to commit to memory, and I read them every few days to freshen my recall. Today, as we rode home from a dinner out, I sat in the backseat with him while Daddy drove. As he grew more and more tired, he kept checking with me as I was singing to him, seeming to say, "Still there, Mommy? Okay, good." We were nearly home when he started to melt down, and I offered him my hand to chew as I sang "Mahna-Mahna." But he just wanted to hold it. It was dark, and he wanted to make sure I was there. It was the first time he'd ever just held my hand, with no other agenda. He stopped crying, and drifted off to sleep, still holding my hand. It's moments like that - beautiful, simple moments, that I fear will fade from my mind's eye. But this one will go in my "To Remember" file. Please, deities of memory, watch over my poor, suffering, addled brain. Don't let me ever forget tonight.