I heard a friend talking about something she called a “four year memory dump” a few years ago – a theory that at age 4 kids start forgetting much of what happened in their first four years, supposedly to make room for new information their brains would need to absorb.
I thought maybe it was a fluke, that it just seemed like that happened or that it only happened to some kids. And maybe it is, maybe it does, but it seems to have happened to Beans.
Beans has always had a fantastic memory. He has astonished us with the things he remembers – and with the great detail in which he remembers it.
Over the last year or so, though, I’ve noticed he really doesn’t remember a lot of what happened more than a year ago. He can pull up random memories, like going to the park near our old house and getting ice cream with eyes from the ice cream truck, but memories of even the things he and I did regularly together before last year are often just not there. He told me yesterday that he doesn’t remember much about life before his little sister was born – and she just turned 1.
“That was a long time ago,” he sighed.
I’m sad that all our special one-on-one time has been forgotten, but I feel certain that even if he doesn’t remember the specifics he does remember the essence of what went on and how he felt about it, that he felt loved and valued and that he was happy. And I guess I also hope he’ll remember some of the things we do together and as a family from here on out. If he doesn’t, I know I will.
Yesterday, while Tallulah napped at home with Matt, Beans and I went to a movie together – Destickable Meat, have you seen it? You may have thought it was called Despicable Me.
Beans picked our seats, the very highest ones in the room. We laughed and whispered and ate popcorn and afterward, we talked about our favorite parts of the movie and about how the “good villain” masterminded his once-evil plans.
On the way in and out of the theater, Beans got several comments about his outfit: shorts and a T-shirt accessorized with fireman rain boots and a metallic blue mask he decorated at Superhero Camp earlier this summer. He had sweatbands on his wrists before we left – “You never know when you might have to use your muscles to lift something that makes you sweat,” he explained – but he took them off because they were too hot.
Yeah, so even if he doesn’t remember these days, you can be sure that they will live in my memory forever. There’s absolutely nothing more important that could take their place in my brain.