Ryan held up a toy Stegosaurus.
“‘Member, Mommy? ‘Member we went to the grocery store and bought Stegosaurus? ‘Member, Mommy?”
I did remember. It was more than a month earlier. I had to pick up a few things from Target and brought Ryan with me, telling him about the toy dinosaurs I had seen in the dollar aisle. If they were still there, I promised he could pick one out.
Luckily, there was one left, one lonely stegosaurus who came home with us. Considering the kid has dozens of plastic toy dinosaurs, I really didn’t think buying it would have much impact on him other than keeping him happy in the store for 30 minutes.
All of a sudden, it seems that his memory is holding on to so much more. Little details of experiences that I hardly notice.
Like last week, when I told Ryan that Mike’s nana was coming over to visit.
Ryan: Oooooh, Nana! We going to get her special treat?
Me: Huh? Special treat? … Oh, you mean because we took her some donuts the last time we visited her? Those were good, weren’t they? Nana let you eat one at her kitchen table, didn’t she?
Ryan: And I wanted some milk, so Nana gave me milk. ‘Member, Mommy?
Why yes, yes I do. Never mind that it was several weeks ago and the kid drinks three glasses of milk every single day.
It is impressive. It is endearing. It warms my heart to know that we may finally be at a point in his life where we are making memories. That bits and pieces of right now might stick with him forever.
It is also making me way less tolerant of the things he doesn’t remember. Like, the “always, always, always hold my hand in the parking lot” rule. Or the “don’t push on the screen door” rule. Or the “we do not jump on the couch” rule. All of which he is reminded of every single day.
If he can remember that his Uncle Patrick created a game TWO MONTHS AGO in which they run over toy wrestlers with big plastic trucks, I know he has the capacity to remember to not let go of my hand and sprint away from me the moment his feet touch pavement.
It appears he has a textbook case of selective memory. He remembers what suits him. Donuts, dinosaurs and games with trucks? Worth remembering. Rules that protect him or keep him from appearing like a heathen? Take up brain space that could otherwise be reserved for fun things.
Frankly, it doesn’t seem like a bad way to live.