1. My Age
When I was growing up my brothers and sisters and I would occasionally ask my mom how old she was. She would pause and start mentally tallying, sometimes thinking for a good 5-10 seconds before replying. I thought it was so funny that she couldn’t just rattle off how old she was. All I could think was “How in the world can you forget your age?” Turns out having a kid is how. (And frankly, once you can’t count your age on your fingers or count down how many years until driving, legal drinking, etc, there’s just not a lot of incentive to keep track.)
2. How to Spell
I majored in English. I used to roll my eyes at common spelling and grammar mistakes. And then one day in the midst of nursing a newborn I found myself swapping my “there” for “their” and unable to put together coherent sentences. It still happens.
3. My Wallet
Grocery shopping…. Ahhh, to grocery shop alone! It sounds so lame, but it’s the best! Until one day last month when I got to the checkout and couldn’t pay. And then I vaguely remembered my wallet was last seen in the clutches of a pint-sized human who was gleefully rearranging all my cards.
4. When I last Showered / Washed My Hair / Shaved My Legs
This is an ongoing problem for me. I can remember that I haven’t washed my hair today. Or shaved recently. I can figure that much out. But for the life of me I cannot name the date when I last used shampoo. So I use a new method for hygiene now. It’s called the “Add More Deodorant / One More Day Messy Bun / Just Wear Jeans” method.
5. Things I Microwaved
Like my coffee for the third time today. Or that Wednesday morning when I opened up the microwave and found a slice of pizza. At first I thought my husband had brought home leftovers from a lunch meeting. I was just about to text him some heart-eyes when I recognized that slice of pizza. It looked just like our dinner from Friday night.
Speaking of food, motherhood has made me forget meals. This is something I really did not understand before becoming a mom. I mean, let’s be real. I love food. I love eating food. Forgetting meal times was never an issue for me. Until I had a kid and became so focused on making sure he ate that I sometimes forgot to feed myself.
7. Appropriate Public Attire
And by “appropriate” I mean shoes. Or a shirt that I haven’t slept in for 2 days straight. You know, the basics. Stuff like that.
8. What it Feels Like to Sleep In
I have a vague recollection that sleeping in used to feel amazing. No alarm… No rush… That feeling of “I don’t want to get up now, so I’m not going to get up now!” and pulling up the covers and drifting gently back to sleep… Sometimes when I wake up now I like to try to remember that sleeping-in feeling and hold on to it. To try to capture some of its peace and beauty in my memory… And then a toddler sits on my face and starts yelling and the moment passes. Sigh.
9. What I Used to Do On My Days Off
What did I do?!?! Like, I got off work, came home and….?!?!? Seriously, I cannot remember. What I did with all that free time is beyond me. If I were as productive then as I have to be now, I’m pretty sure I’d be publishing my 5th novel, giving TED talks, winning bake-offs, and launching my podcast on “Things You Never Thought To Organize.”
10. How Much Better My Life is Now
In the midst of all the searching for lost wallets, reapplications of deodorant, microwaving, missed meals, and sleepless nights, I sometimes forget just how lucky I am. But in those moments when my kid gets a big grin on his face and decides to barrel me over with a giant hug attack as he yells “Mama!”… it’s in those moments… those quick, fleeting moments that I remember.