My daughter and I were recently sharing our dreams from the night before. I wondered what had triggered the crazy story lines. She said that she had heard that you can’t create new faces in a dream – that it’s always a face you’ve seen, even if in passing. All this made me start thinking about brains.
I’ve heard our brains are so fantastic that everything we see, hear, and experience is stored away somewhere. It’s simply that we don’t know how to recall everything (unless you are Marilu Henner of course). I know some dispute that idea, but I rather like it. I do know from watching Criminal Minds that witnesses are often able to remember details (like smells, colors, sounds) with some calming techniques by the behavior analysts. Details they didn’t realize they had observed that then helped with solving the case.
I sometimes worry that I don’t remember enough. My husband can tell you in great detail about experiences, people, events, and timelines from his entire life. If you asked him right now about any given time period in his life – he’d probably be able to give you great detail. We could go to anywhere he lived growing up (he moved a lot as did I) and I have no doubt he’d be able to take us right to the neighborhood, the street, or the house if it’s still standing. Then he’d be able to tell you what used to be on “that corner” and who lived “over there”. Me? Not so much.
Sometimes I wonder what I will remember when I’m old. Aren’t wives and mothers supposed to be the fount of all knowledge and memories? Have I neglected my husband and children by not storing away every detail of my life and theirs? I didn’t scrapbook or journal to get all the details recorded either (thank goodness for Facebook for the last ten years).
But I’ve been able (mostly) to let go of that worry.
Maybe right now I don’t remember exactly who did what and when, or everything that happened on “that” particular family vacation – but at least I can’t disagree with my kids when they’re telling their stories of “remember when”. Maybe I don’t remember the details of every triumph (or failure) -but I can’t use them to nag either.
I do know how much I love my husband and kids. I believe that when I’m old I’ll always remember that love and that these years together have been the best years of my life. When I’m old, I choose to believe that the memories will come as needed to warm my heart like a blanket in winter. I believe that I’ll remember what I need.