We have a book that we found at our house when we moved in called “Kirsten’s World” that is about a girl who comes to pioneer America from Sweden. It’s actually a very good history lesson about the frontier and conflicts with Native Americans and the ways of life in that time. The kids love the pictures (there are lots of horses) and have gotten to the point where they can tell me all about what is going on. It’s really geared toward a pre-teens, but these two toddlers love it.
The other night while I was rocking Grant and reading this book, I tried to actually read the narrative when he looked at me and said “no talk, Mommy.” He then proceeded to tell me what was happening that roughly translated to “boat, sick, ocean, New York.” (People were sick on the ship as it went across the ocean while they traveled to New York). On the next page he reported “no sick” since they were not on the ship any more. I had to chuckle and then I tried to remember what it was like when he couldn’t talk. I soon realized that I really can’t remember.
I know we had a routine and it worked; they nursed and we read and rocked, but without all the chatter, I can’t remember how we communicated. I know this isn’t the only thing I’m forgetting and I know that this seems like a standard issue with parenting. I can’t remember little details of our way of life that changed rapidly as they do I can remember the milestones – when they sat up, crawled, walked, etc., but can’t remember how things were.
It made me think about what else I’m forgetting. I know that those early days don’t seem as hard as I know they were. I know that the teething nights that seemed so long at the time are just a blip on the radar now. I know that the baby phase was infinitely short and there’s no way to go back. I also think this is by design. I think the short duration and distance from the situation provides a level of amnesia and that’s God’s way of ensuring people have more than one child. Without looking back and saying “that wasn’t so bad” I’m not sure that people would volunteer to do it again.