for a friend

Tuesday, July 27 8:02 am

To: Jess

From: Dear Friend

re: [something no longer relevant]

Jess –

We positively NEED a new post.  I cannot stomach looking at the “unthinkable” one more day.  Please post something . . . anything.

***

Tuesday, July 27 8:09 am

To: Dear Friend

From: Jess

re:re: [something no longer relevant]

Mama’s working under pressure – but I’ll get something up later in the morning. xo

***

Now I’m nothing if not here to please – Luau, stop snickering – but I don’t really have anything ready for prime time. AND I have a whole lot on my plate AND very little time today to sort it all out. But I just couldn’t let Dear Friend suffer for yet another moment. So, I’m putting up the following, despite the fact that it’s not really finished.

See, if I had time to write the whole thing, I’d be able to add the part about the cow sculpture by the front door at my Dad’s house. I could have told you that my Dad’s small cape is bursting at its seams with sculptures and random objects of art – that they are nearly everywhere you turn. And I could have told you about how Brooke honed in on the cow immediately upon walking into the house and was insistent that Papa needed to move it into the living room. And that it took me until our second day there when she said it again to ask my Dad if perhaps the cow had been moved. I would have been able to tell you that he thought for a second and then said, ‘Yes, it used to be in the living room, why?” And that I was blown away yet again by my daughter’s incredible capacity to remember, well – everything.

And well, you see that if I had time to add all that it would be a much better post, right?

But hey, who am I to keep a dear friend waiting?

***

“Brooke, honey,” I said from the front seat, “we’re going to stop on the way to Papa’s house to get some dinner, OK? So FIRST dinner, THEN Papa’s house, OK, baby?”

“OK,” she answered quietly. She added, “And I would get sausages.”

I looked at Luau, confused. Sausages?

I turned around to see her. “Sausages, honey?” I asked.

“Yeah.”

“Where could we get sausages for dinner?” I asked Luau. “And would she actually EAT them?”

It made no sense. Brooke doesn’t have any exceedingly limited diet, but I wouldn’t exactly call her repertoire broad either. And last I checked, sausages weren’t making the list.

I tried to figure out where we could stop along the highway that would have sausages. Italian seemed like our best bet, but we were at a loss as to where we’d find it. My Dad lives five hours away from us and we were in the no man’s land somewhere in the middle of the trip.

“Honey, would you really EAT the sausages?” I asked.

“I would,” she said. “And I would eat Katie’s.”

Huh?

Luau looked at me and smiled. He’d obviously unraveled the mystery. Thank God only one of us has to have the brain at a time.

“Hon, the last time we went to your Dad’s we left in the morning,” he said. “We stopped at McDonald’s on the highway for breakfast. Brooke ate everyone’s sausage patties, remember?”

I may be a little slower on the uptake than my husband, but it started to make sense. I vaguely – very vaguely – remembered that we’d given the McDonald’s sausages a shot because they looked exactly like their plain hamburger patties (that she loves). She’d eaten hers, then Luau’s, then Katie’s.

The last time we went to my Dad’s?

OVER A YEAR AGO. (This is where the cow story comes in.)

Every experience that we have is laced with points of reference – what we ate, what was placed where, what song was on the radio. For me, they’re buried deep under a pile of rubble. For Brooke, they are all right there – front and center, as though the moment had just passed. She forgets NOTHING. Every detail is stored in that little head of hers.

I wonder what she’ll do with it all someday. The possibilities, after all are endless.

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15 thoughts on “for a friend

  1. I have to agree with your dear friend, I am so happy you have a new blog post!!!!!! And what occurred at your house about the sausage happens alot in our household. SON can remember details about passing things from years ago, but somehow same SON can’t remember where he left winter coat on a Friday afternoon (post bus trip).

  2. This makes me chuckle with recognition. Nik is doing some of that right now with constantly r eferencing the elevator and his ears. We were at the hospital on Friday for…ear surgery. And we rode in the elevator.

    My husband and I often marvel at Nik’s memory.

  3. I shake my head often when reading your blogs; Brooke is soooo much like my daughter. Yes, the memory is awesome, but the words to describe the memories are sometimes lacking. I am thankful that my daughter can add more descriptors these days to help the translation. I know that she gets frustrated when no one understands what she’s talking about. Hope that you had a nice visit with your dad.

  4. Neat how she remembered the sausages. Children do have a way with remembering things that sometimes, we as adults, tend to pass right over and onto the next thing.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Wanted to let you know that over at my blog, I have some free pdfs on the theme of bedtime.

    http://sunriselearninglab.blogspot.com/2010/07/making-memories-montessori-malaguzzi.html

    A friend who has a child on the spectrum suggested that they would be excellent for an autistic child to use to either lay out their night time routine or else to use to build vocabulary for their nightly routine. either way, if you would like them, please let me know and I will email them to you…

    I enjoy reading your blog and did not even know what to say about the other post…just such a horrible situation and obviously, that woman needed some help and did not know or was not in the right mind to ask for it.
    It was wise of you to list some ideas for support for people, as all of us need support. My children are not on the autism spectrum but have some health issues that can be challenging at times, so we are homeschooling them.
    It is comforting for folks to know that there is support out there. I always try to be a good support system when any readers share with me, too.

    Well, enjoy your week. Hope that the girls had fun visiting their grandpa.
    :) Colleen

  5. There you are…in my head again! The little details that are stored and come out much later still amaze me! I am in awe when my son does this. It really is a gift. To remember the little things and make them so important. I think it really helps him to ‘stop and smell the roses’. Something I should do more often.

  6. WOW, we are living with the same child! She remembers every last detail. So that’s what your mind is busy with when I don’t think you’re paying attention. She’s actually paying very CLOSE attention to something else.

  7. Justin has a phenomenal memory too. I recall going to my mom’s house when he was three (he’d only visited there a few times since we lived far away), parking down the street, and letting him loose on the sidewalk. He just bounded down the street and ran confidently up to her door. I’m tempted to bring him back to our street in Virginia and see if he remembers where we lived, I have a feeling he would!

  8. Even when they’re rushed, your posts are always eloquent. Thanks for the change of topic. I know what it’s like to live with a memory marvel…amazing. And although it’s hard to say now what Brooke may do with her gifts, I do think there’s one thing that’s certain: it will be something very special.

  9. Seems this memory thing is common amongst our phenomenal kids. When Charlotte was about 2 we went to a friend’s house and that friend made her a grilled cheese sandwich. A little over a year later we went back to that friend’s house, and as Charlotte was walking up to the house she said, ‘grilled cheese sandwich.’ Her communication at the time was quite limited so I didn’t really know what she meant. It was days later that I remembered her that first visit there.

    Even after all this time, the memory still amazes me.

  10. Interestingly, I’ve been spending a lot of time in museums and reading art history with my daughter, M, lately.

    Where is Brooke going with all of this?

    Well, maybe she is like many of the artists/geniuses we’ve been talking about who were taken by images, or memories and turned them into MASTERPIECES.

    I swear, these little guys with these incredible brains, incredible creativity…it’s going to develop into one big bottle of fascinating sauce someday.

  11. It’s always amazing when they do that! And you took me back with the “first, then” reference – it seemed like there was a time when I must have said that a dozen times a day at least!

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