I’ve been reading a very interesting book called Buzz: A Year of Paying Attention by Katherine Ellison. It’s a memoir about a woman dealing with her son’s hyperactivity and oppositional defiant disorder. The book is also a meditation on paying attention as an adult. The author weaves the two narratives together.
The thing that struck me most about the book was this: one of the therapists Ellison has been dealing with tells her to put a picture of her “problem child” as a baby on the fridge. It is a reminder, he says, to her of who she is dealing with – this is her baby.
It made me wonder about the nature of remembering.
We are often told to pay attention to the present moment. I don’t want to miss anything as the children grow. This season of motherhood has long days and short years. But, but, but… in the midst of that I find that something gets lost.
Sometimes, when I am so focused on the current moment and getting to that next step, I forget where we came from. I forget that this is my baby. And as such, that reminder to put the child’s photograph as a baby on the fridge seemed to me very good advice indeed.
When did you last think of the first rush of motherhood? Of homeschooling?
I’ll confess: it’s been way too long for me. There is a reason we celebrate birthdays, anniversaries. The reason is that we shouldn’t forget, but often do. In the everyday craziness of routines and schedules and curricula, I must remind myself of the first few steps we took toward living like this. The first time my children read a word, the first time they wrote, first times – which too soon become the last times.
So remember. Throw a not-back-to-school party and take time to remember. It’s important.