Nina, on Memory. Sling Diaries, Vol VII.

December 27, 2017

The Sling Diaries, Volume VII. A photo-documentary chronicling the art of baby wearing in the lives of families around the world. Over the course of six months, Sling Diarists will create their own Sling Diary though a series of diary entries interpreting a unique theme given to them each month.

Meet all of our Sling Diarists here.

ON MEMORY 

“Mmmmmm you’re like fresh baked bread” I would dig my nose into my son every time he woke up from his baby naps and smell his sweaty skin, under his curls, his warm round soft baby skin smelling like that stinky smell only mothers can love because it is so inherently their own, from them, like flowers from the brown earth.

Will he remember those words one day, when he is grown, will he whisper them into his own sons ear and think, where is that from, why did I just say that. Or the garden we would walk through in the summer months, when the sprinklers would go off at 4 pm and we would get a quick reprieve from the muggy day, opening our mouths and tasting the city water as it dripped down our chins and we laughed. Oh how we laugh, will he remember that?

My daughter, before she falls asleep at night I tell her a bedtime story that makes her father do this half laugh half sigh of content noise, I say “your father kissed me in a Dunkin' Donuts parking lot, that was our first kiss, and it didn’t matter at all where we were or the cars driving past, we could have been anywhere really, because everything melted away and I knew.” Will she think of that the first time she is kissed, will she know when she falls in love, will she remember how I tell her how much she is loved, how I dreamt them all before they even met me. 

At night when everyone is asleep I think of giving them the best lives, sometimes I cry in bed, lamenting the times during the day when I was angry or my tone was not soft and full of love. I worry about her cortisol levels when I reprimand her brother in that “mom voice” while she is eating in my lap. I worry about him becoming a mean person every time I raise my voice, thinking he will grow up hating his mother because she yelled when he would act out as a child.

I think about how I want them to remember me, as a good mom, the one who baked cookies at Christmas and always cuddled them. I think about how I forgot to buy butter and my cookies were awful, I watched my three year old pick the candy off them and throw the rest away. Great, I am the mom who makes crappy cookies and yells, will he remember that?

I lie in bed at night and make a list for the store and think, will I make it to the store tomorrow. In between bottles and laundry, and someone needs to scrub the toilet, will I get a three year old and two month old and myself ready and dressed for a trip to the store? Steve brings butter home after work late at night, the next day I put her down for her nap and I make Christmas cookies. They are soft and buttery and warm, my son reaches for more and is overjoyed, my daughter wakes up from her nap and I am soft. One day at a time I think, all you can do is do better.

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