What Will I Remember?
I wonder what I’ll remember? Will it be simply that the Spring time change is something I loathe with a particular passion? Will I remember why?Will I remember how she stuck her fingers in her ears and scowled at me from her car seat while we were driving home from the pleasant two hours at Hakone Gardens, a break from the otherwise angry day we had spent together so far? “I don’t want to hear this music. It hurts my ears.”Will I remember how I said, “Suck it up, I’m tired of all the things you don’t like today,” and then turned the music up a little louder to drown my frustration?Will I remember how I realized I didn’t really like that music either, but hell no I was not going to turn it off after putting my foot down about it and I made us both listen to the whole album?Or will I remember the moment in her room that night, after I turned off the iPhone with the playlist she’d borrowed from her dad, which music that was decidedly not sleepy music and she screamed and kicked at me and I used that low voice I’ve only used a handful of times in my life and never to her to say, “Stay. In. Your. Bed.” and she recognized that voice even though she’d never heard it before and she did stay, and then asked for a tissue and wiped her eyes with exactly the same gesture I use when I’m sitting on my therapist’s saggy tan couch and I’m crying but I wish I wasn’t?Will I remember how then she asked me to sing to her, and I leaned over the side of her bed to sing the song about a baby owlet, and she listened and sniffled, and then asked, “Why poor owlet?” and I sang the next line, “He is tired/from crying so,” and she said “Why is he crying?” and I remembered what I’d been forgetting all day, which is that she’s a sensitive girl, and she feels my tension and anger deeply. She doesn’t pout just to be mean to me. Maybe she didn’t like my music because she was mad, but maybe it really was hurting her ears. And I remembered how neither of us had slept enough for three nights running and both of us need a lot of sleep. And just as I felt like I would cry for being so mean and unfeeling to her, she did cry, big sobs that curled her small body up, and said, “I’m so sad, too.”Will I remember how I said, “I love you,” and she said, “I know you love me even when you are mad. And I do, too. I love you when I’m mad. But it makes my stomach hurt a little,” and I knew exactly the feeling she was talking about because I’d been feeling it all day?Will I remember how said she wanted it to be tomorrow, and I asked, because I know that feeling too, “Because you want this horrible day to be over?” and she said, “Yes.” She said, “I don’t want us to fight tomorrow.” Will I remember how much she needs to feel connected with me and how much it hurts us both when we are arguing?Will I remember the way she climbed down out of her bed and tried snuggle into my lap, the way she used to fall sleep every night? She doesn’t really fit any more, but we made do. Her legs hang down almost to the floor, but her head still fits under my chin, her ear against my heart. She wrapped her arms around my arm, pulled my hand to her cheek. Will I remember that? “You’re the best, Mommy. I love you so so much.” Will I remember her easy forgiveness?Will I remember, when we care barely recognize each other through a haze of her hormones, how much she is like me, and how that little girl still somewhere in her long teenage body just needs to know she is seen and heard and understood, and loved in spite of anything we might have said to each other? Will I remember to hold her and say I’m sorry, and I love you so, so much, and I love you even when we are mad at each other?