What happens when all our “trying” just amounts to mere frustration and anger. Sometimes, in life, it feels as if the achievable is just out of reach. The other night I was at a friend’s house and their 18 month-old very sneakily “hid” my keys in the sub woofer. Fortunately, for her, the tiny opening in the side was just big enough for her little hand. In fact, as we sat conversing my friend kept inquiring, “where are all her binkies going?” She’d give her a binkie and then have to replace it five minutes later after searching the couch and surrounding area. Little miss had her treasure trove nestled snuggly, aside my keys, where no one would ever suspect.
When I finally went to grab my items, and noticed they weren’t there, my friend ademently reinforced that the little one had placed them somewhere. I thought, “no way,” it’s been so long since I’ve had a toddling thing that I thought it impossible. Reflecting on the event it seems that we easily forget events in our lives, once they have passed, because we are consumed by a new set of experiences (i.e. my now learning to read kindergartener).
I’ll come to back to the conclusion of the aforementioned story (I know you’re dying to know how I got home). But first, last night, as I prepared little e’s Top Dog of the Week Poster, I started thinking about all his baby pictures. I knew them to be situated on my old laptop and just assumed it to be at my folks place in safe storage. So, I’m visiting with my mom and mention it to her. I use the term “white laptop.” She went and grabbed the “new white laptop” they have since purchased believing I’d find what I was looking for. Not so, “That’s the wrong laptop. I mean the old one.” And then it came like a ton of bricks,
“Dad took that one to the refurbish place months ago.” Afterwhich, she turns and grabs some CD’s and begins lecturing me on the importance of backup elements. I immediately began to cry, and I hurried to leave the house. As I drove to my home, I thought about all the pictures of me pregnant, the ones of little e in the hospital after his birth, the entire first two years of his life. Then I began to account for every picture that I had lost but so desperately wanted back.
I want the one with my tear stained face holding my little newborn just minutes after his arrival.
I want the one of my pink socks peeking from underneath the hospital sheets (I had specific socks hand-picked for my delivery).
I want the video of my ex filming the nurse midwife who delivered little e.
I want the picture of little e in his exersaucer, rosy, drooling, and teething.
I want the picture of little e in his little blue chair, and the one in his red highchair eating for the first time with his lefthand (I always knew he would be a lefty), the ones of our vacation in Greece, the pictures of little e and his Dad watching sports, e in his batman sneakers at 6 months, e and mommy lying on the bed together, napping.
I want them all back. Now, all I have is the memories, those burned images, unretrievable. I cry still thinking about it.
I returned home that night and immediately found my mother had already sent me a few pics (ones I had obviously sent her) to help ease the pain. Mothers, what would we do without them. However, among them did not exist the intimate ones I so long for. The ones that were so terrible looking I hadn’t sent them to any family members.
I’ll return now to the story of the little sneak and the missing keys. We tried, unsuccessfully sticking our hands in the tiny hole; however, to no avail. Then someone got the idea to fish them out with a fork-like spatula. I had my doubts, but it worked. Exactly twenty minutes later all of the binkies, minus one, and my keys had been retrieved without any permanent damage to the speaker, fabulous! We had conquered the unachievable and there was happiness and laughter at the carelessness of the event. When I started up my engine that night I sighed, “I can’t believe that just happened?” I know, though, four years ago, with a toddler in tow myself, I wouldn’t have been surprised in the least bit. I’d forgotten.
And so my tears for the lost pictures were not for the objects themselves but rather the memories. I recognize the nature of one’s recollection and I know someday I’ll wonder, what was e like at three months, or how did he act? I know though that certain photos will missing. This isn’t a matter of trying, they’re gone and no amount of achievement can fix this particular experience. But–I can take that CD from my mom and try again, burn the pictures I have now, and keep them in a safe place. That is achieveable.
And words, I’ve decided to write a paragraph for every picture I remember. I’m hoping that will, at the very least, keep those images active in my mind. I never want to forget my bald head, blue-eyed, little e. His infancy. Ever.
a missing whit.