And I can’t help but wonder, ‘will she remember this?’
Let me start by confessing that I suffer from an extreme case of FOMO (fear of missing out). Will she remember this? This phrase has been echoing around my head for about four and a half years now. It’s like an earworm that just won’t quit. Will she remember this? It’s more pervasive than any catchy jingle that you could possibly think of (Doublemint gum, anyone?). It follows me on every adventure I take with my daughter, every play date, every birthday party I plan, every story time at the library, every trip to the aquarium or playground.
It’s become my mantra for motherhood of sorts.
In those early days of new motherhood, I had no idea what was going on. I mean, I barely remember it- forget my daughter. My world had just been (adorably) turned upside down. Within a week of my daughter’s arrival, I found myself at my pediatrician’s new mother’s group. I needed a reason to get up, get dressed, and get out of the house. This was how I stayed sane and maintained my sense of self. These new mother’s groups became my anchor- the thing that kept me floating in a seemingly bottomless sea of feedings and diaper changes.
In those early days our adventures started small: a drive around the neighborhood, a trip to Target or the mall. Maybe breakfast with a friend at the diner. By the end of my 8 week maternity leave, we had visited the Bronx Zoo, become regulars at lap-sit story time, and enjoyed our first minor league hockey game. Will she remember this? Probably not. Actually, almost certainly not. But, our adventures got me through infancy and laid the groundwork for my FOMO.
It all just seemed to be going by so fast. I know it’ such a cliche, but it is also so very true. With each pound my daughter gained, each milestone that she achieved, each chubby little roll that seemed to disappear – I had this overwhelming
fear feeling that if I didn’t take advantage of whatever experience was being offered, that it would just pass us by, never to be seen again. Sure, we could do it next week, or next year. But, it just wouldn’t be the same. She wouldn’t be the same. I mean, it was all just going by so fast.
Now, I understand that some may see my FOMO as
slightly neurotic behavior. And, I don’t completely disagree. I mean, yes it may be true that I’m not very good at “down time.” And, yes there is a possibility that I find the very thought of spending a “quiet day at home” horrifying. But, really I just love living life. I love finding new places to explore. I love the adventure of it. I want my daughter to have a sense of wanderlust and adventure – to go out and explore every ounce of her surroundings. When she looks at me with those big brown eyes and says, “Mom, where are we going next?” my heart just explodes a little. Did I create a monster? Maybe. But, I’m more than happy to deal with the consequences.
When it comes right down to it, I can’t predict what my daughter will remember. I don’t know what memories will compose the very fabric of her being. Maybe it will be the quiet lazy day we spent hunting for bugs in the backyard, or painting with watercolors on the porch, or our family vacations to the Cape. Maybe it will be one of our five hundred trips to the library, aquarium, or nature center. I’d like to believe that all of it makes up the amazing person she is becoming. All I can do is present her with a variety of textures and materials to choose from. So will she remember this? I don’t know. Nothing is one hundred percent. But, if I don’t at least give everything a try, how will we ever know?