Everything Baylee knows about Roger is from what he’s been told and photos he’s seen. Just today he quoted to me, “You know that the earliest memories begin around three years old.” He was not quite three when Roger died. I could see his quiet face concentrating on the math.
It’s taken me many years to say this aloud, and I may need one or two more until I fully embrace it, but Baylee doesn’t remember his dad.
After Roger passed, I would show Baylee photos of him, but never video. I thought it would cloud his real memory and create new, false ones and confuse his mind. Now I wonder if I should have used the video to spark it. Who knows? Who ever knows.
There are times I envy him, and his non-remembrance of mourning. Now, though, I don’t know that there’s room for envy, if I should envy my child even, or if it matters.
I do know that he has different memories of Roger, like when I tell him about the time he almost missed Max’s birth so he could get a soda, or when Tye tells him how their dad ran up and down the football field cheering him on while holding baby Sammy.
Some things you just have to let go of, tweak and twist until you’re at peace with it. That’s where I am now with Baylee’s lack of memory. He’ll have all the same ones we have, just in a narrated, more perfect form. Good for him.