I’m preparing for E’s 2nd birthday party. I’m buying plates and tablecloths and of course going far too overboard. As I did last year, I’m pouring over pictures from the last year to print and loving it… but I’m smiling through tears. I had forgotten how small she was. How chubby her little cheeks were.
And as I have many times in my life, I begged God, “Please Lord, don’t let me forget.”
Don’t let me forget the way her cheeks feel against my lips when I kiss her, or how she moved in my womb.
Don’t let me forget the way her head curls into my neck when she drifts off to sleep, and her little hand grasps the collar of my shirt.
Don’t let me forget the way she smells of Cheerios and baby powder, or like lavender right after bath.
Don’t let me forget how victorious it felt to sing her happy birthday on her 1st birthday.
Don’t let me forget the way she smiles bigger than ever when she watches Ben and I dance in the kitchen, or how her eyebrows perk up when she is being especially clever.
Don’t let me forget the 70 days we spent in NICU and the lessons of perseverance and strength she taught us.
Don’t let me forget the way the sunlight falls on her eyes and has the perfect combination of Ben and I’s color.
Don’t let me forget the sound of her early morning chats with herself, or her very first cry.
I wish I could bottle these memories up like they do on Harry Potter. Then that way I can store them away in little vials and revisit them any time I want to.
Because some days, I forget. There are days where I can’t remember how far we’ve come, how far she’s come. The days where the path is suddenly dark and overwhelming and I have forgotten the good. The days where the daily is daunting and routine is wearisome and I can only see the difficult and the challenging.
There are days when I need reminding.
So I look at E. She doesn’t feel the sorrow I occasionally feel, she doesn’t know how far she has to go. She is here, smiling and being ornery, testing my limits and being totally adorable. She hasn’t forgotten.
Don’t let me forget Lord, to look at her and be reminded of all the good.