A Different Kind of Photographic Memory

Since becoming a mom, I have found that my habits have changed drastically… some due to necessity, some to desire. I have acquired new skills, new speed, and previously unfathomable sleeping habits. I am the only night owl I know of that goes to sleep by nine and is up before 7… without an alarm. Sometimes I can’t remember what life was like — what I was like — before Ethan. That’s okay since I much prefer the new me.

Of the many new habits I’ve acquired, one brings me outrageous amounts of joy. I find myself unintentionally taking mental snapshots of happy scenes in our daily lives. I’d like to share a few of them with you.

* The fist night with Ethan, in a St. Luke’s hospital bed. I had anxiously waited all day for night to come, because I knew then I would be able to spend time with him without having onlookers or the fear that I wasn’t doing it right. I had a lot of adjusting to do, but he didn’t care. He slept in my arms all night.
* His first giggle… of course it was at Daddy.
* “Mama!” It broke my heart.
* There have been several nights on which, had you peeked in our living room window, you would have seen Ethan in Adam’s arms, and the three of us dancing around the room, singing a silly song, Ethan gasping between belly laughs. (I think those are the moments that you hear some wealthy people wishing they could go back to. There may have been nothing but two slices of cheese in our refrigerator, but we laughed the kind of laughter that is pure, unadulterated joy.)

And then, there’s tonight’s snapshot. It was incredible.

Ethan has been a joy today. He’s been fun and cute and content. That is, until it was time for bed. I laid him down at his usual time, and he looked like he would fall right asleep, so I got all snuggled up in bed, only to hear him start fussing. Determined to ride it out, I let the fuss escalate until I had to leave the bedroom with the monitor so Adam could sleep. A short time later, I heard Adam get up and start rocking Ethan. I had no idea that he could even hear Ethan’s crying… I offered to take over, but daddy and baby were both content with the arrangement, so I went back downstairs. The moment Adam laid him back down, the crying erupted again. I called up that I would handle it.

With no end of the noise in sight, I had no choice but to get Ethan back up and try rocking him some more. I started singing, “You Are My Sunshine,” and he flashed me a big, three-toothed grin. We rocked a while longer, and I must have done something funny, because he giggled. I looked at him and smiled, and he giggled some more. I chuckled in response, which cause even MORE giggling. Soon, we were full out laughing at each other. Apparently, my laugh was hilarious, and his was the cutest I’d ever heard. This continued off and on for about 20 minutes. By the end, was crying too… partly because that’s what happens when I laugh really hard, and partly because it was such an incredible moment. That whole time, we stared into each other’s eyes, totally absorbed.

I suppose this was the first time we really laughed together.

I felt like I was the Grinch, my heart swelling to three times its size. What a blessing to be given such a moment, and to recognize it instead of letting it pass.

I’m starting to dig this new photographic memory.

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