So I realize today at lunch that I’m not concerning myself with what I’m going to have to eat, I’m no longer distracted by the dull aching mini-migraine that’s been plaguing the right side of my face and neck for the past few days, and I’m not mapping out my weekend in my mind. What am I doing? I’m worried about my embedded slide shows. I’m checking out Picasa’s help center, Google’s latest postings on software problems. I’m noticing a pattern in the questions posted since the 18th – every other one has to do with the failure of the slide shows that people all over this globe have stuck into their blogs that for some reason have come unstuck. I heave a huge sigh of relief; I’m not an idiot. It’s their fault. Everyone’s slide shows are missing. I join the stream of unhappy posters with my email form letter. I actually receive this back later in the day:
Thank you for your note. Thank you for taking the time to report this issue with Picasa. We are aware of the problem, and our engineering team is working to create a solution.We regret any inconvenience this has caused you, and we appreciate your patience as we work to improve Picasa and Picasa Web Albums.
Regards,The Google Team
Disaster averted, someone is working on it somewhere. Someone is staying late at work. And then I wonder…do I really need this stress? I mean, this is supposed to be fun. This is fun. This is something I enjoy doing at the end of the day, or in the quiet of the morning before E is awake. But in one short month I’ve become a blogger – I check on it in the morning, I check on it in the evening. It’s like one of those little virtual pets. It’s alive.
Mixed into those complaints about the slide shows are more worrisome postings. “I’ve lost all my photos” “How do I retrieve my accidentally deleted blog?” “Why is everything I’ve written in the past 4 years translated suddenly into Hindi?” I panic. What if? What if I lost everything? Not just this journal, but all of our photos, everything we have hidden deep within this black box on our desk. We could back it all up, and then lose it in a fire. We could print it all out and then lose it in a flood. We could store it all away in our memories, and then grow old and forget it all.
And then I take a deep breath, and realize that I don’t really have to write these things down to remember them, the important ones. I will always remember the look on her face as she carefully copies the letters from the Honey Nut Cheerios box onto our shopping list – maybe not that it was that kind of cereal – but for certain I’ll recall those moments when she began to write for herself. I will always remember what she sounds like when she sings Corrinne Bailey Rae, the lyrics beyond her grasp of complete understanding, but sung quietly from the backseat “summer came like cinnamon, so sweet, little girls double dutch on the concrete”. I will always remember the transformation from the child who clung to me, petrified of the scale at the doctor’s office, distraught at the instrument that went into her ears, the child who cried as soon as the nurse called her name in the waiting room – that transformation to the big kid, armed with the knowledge of the duties and responsibilities of a four year old, who marched up onto that scale without batting an eye, and turned to watch, without a flinch, the three booster shots that slid into her shoulder.
And I will never, not ever, forget the way she looks at night, as she sleeps. Not just the peacefulness of it, but the way she has always, almost from birth, seemed to shape her immediate environment to suit her needs for that very moment. Her still life she composes that sums up her day, her mood. And for certain, I will never forget the occasional irony of them.
Especially this one.
Because tonight, about 15 minutes ago, M whispered to me from the stairs. “Hey, you have got to see this one, and bring the camera.” It’s a familiar ritual, but this one takes the cake:
fell asleep with her nose in the book
and yes, the title is My Parents Think I’m Sleeping