Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Lost Forever

The Sopranos Season Six starts in the USA on March 12th. Goody, goody (or even baddy, baddy).

You may remember that episode of The Sopranos in which Tony bellows at his mother Livia telling her just what a f*****ing useless grandmother she is to his kids. The reason ? He’s just come across an album that she was supposed to fill up with photos and memories for the children and the pages are all still blank. Carmela’s parents have filled theirs up, why couldn’t she ?

I sympathise with poor old Livia.

My children both have hopelessly empty baby albums on their bookshelves. Date first tooth appeared: empty. Photos of first birthday party: blank. Family tree to fill in : zilch. First words spoken : gaping void.

I do have their first ultrasound pictures and their hospital bracelets somewhere (where?) and I did keep a lock of their baby hair — although I can’t for the life of me work out which is which.

I do feel a little guilty about this failure on my part. I mean, I actually bought the albums myself, imagining the fun I would have filling them in, cutting out photos, sticking in little scraps of ribbon and wool that would trigger tender memories years later. Writing down each new bon mot. Somehow, in the whirlwind of the baby years, I just never got round to it.

I don’t have a baby album of my own but my Mum did keep every single birthday card I received until I was twelvish. Some babyhoods, of course, are hyper-documented and I feel even more inadequate when I read Dooce’s latest monthly letter to her daughter. She writes :
Sometimes I go back and read the things I wrote to you in the early months and I realize that I’ve already forgotten half of what happened, and if it weren’t for what I’ve written here I could have lost certain memories forever.
I just hope the children don’t decide on the mafia as a career path when they grow up. Otherwise I may end up as fish food . Maybe I should just burn the empty baby-album evidence now, or maybe I could just make it all up. Do you think they’d mind?


deborah said...

so she wrote to her baby in the early months? goodness I wonder what she said, I think she should have been out working instead .... only joking.

You better recycle those albums for the next generation .... see if you can do better than Livia when you are a grandmother!

Nancy McKeand said...

Maybe it is actually better this way. My mother was meticulous in keeping baby books for my brother and I. When my other brother came along 5 years later, she had no time for it. He always felt cheated, like she didn't love him or want him as much.

I am not much good at these kinds of things. I kept the cards we/the kids got when they were born, and I gave them to them when they were adults. I think they probably threw them in the garbage!

The secret is, I think, that you can't win no matter what you do. So sit back and enjoy your kids. That's really all either of you need to remember.

Sarah Mackenzie said...

Yeah... I've just read Dooce. You're going to hell Lesley G****m! Hell, I say!

Antipodeesse said...

Make it all up! They'll never know!