Wednesday, October 24, 2012

I want to remember ...

A misspelling on my 3rd birthday cake, although the E is dotted.

My husband spouts out stories from his early childhood like they're memories from yesterday. I remember thinking the boys' bathroom was a terrible tornado shelter for our class. Even as a first-grader I knew kneeling on such a floor was DIS-GUST-ING. I remember {I think that same year ...} coming out of the hospital where I had ear tubes put in so I could hear better and thinking the world was alarmingly loud. I have other random early childhood memories, but not near the quantity of my husband, who retains so much from his Little League games, family vacations, playing outside with his brothers, and books he read.

My mom doesn't even remember why my name is spelled wrong on my third birthday cake. Perhaps it was such moments early on that engrained in me that people like their names spelled correctly. Such an awareness served me well in my before-kids-life as a newspaper reporter.

Now I have a mini me who corrects people when they spell her with a K. "It's C-A-T-E," she says. But, really, I hear myself: "It's Kristin with an I-N. K-R-I-S-T-I-N." {I know I've talked about my name before. Well, more than once.}

I don't know about my 4th birthday, but my name was misspelled again on my 5th birthday cake. Apparently even in 1984, misspellings earned looks of disgust from me. That's a different disgust than kneeling on the boys' bathroom floor during the next year of my life. But, still, clearly I wasn't pleased.

My mom doesn't remember the misspellings. And I don't either. Today, 28 years later, these two pictures make me laugh.

And they make me want to remember all the details of this season, when I have a 5-year-old who wants her name spelled correctly and isn't too shy to tell them and a boy who is going to be 3 in a month from yesterday and make me laugh, melt and tighten my fist all in one breath.

I want to remember. 

I want to remember how Ben sucks on his tongue and rubs his fingers along the silky binding of his blanket, more affectionately called "nigh-night."

I want to remember the way Cate arranges her pillows all around her as she settles into the top bunk.

I want to remember how Ben says "lou" instead of "you." It's especially sweet when part of "I love lou."

I want to remember how bad Cate's knock-knock jokes are and how Ben's are even worse.

I want to remember how they'll sing along to Slugs & Bugs, Go Fish, praise songs, Sugarland's "Stuck Like Glue," and Rain for Roots as we drive along in the mini van.

I want to remember how they think watching Diego, Land Before Time or Wonder Pets is a treat.

I want to remember how Cate is an excellent snuggler in the morning but Ben is antsy and ready to get on with his day.

I want to remember how Ben always starts his dinnertime and bedtime prayers with, "Thank you Daddy come home. Mommy come home. Cate come home."

I want to remember how terrible Ben is with colors.

I want to remember how Cate carries Berenstain Bear books with her and copies words from them into her notebook.

I want to remember the peace that comes at bedtime.

I want to remember the joy that comes at moments throughout the day.

I want to remember the stress that is really so short lived and not worth it.

I want to remember.

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