I am not a storyteller. I like to write but the truth is that there’s no melody in the way I share my words. I’m hopeful that it might be something I can learn, but fear that it’s probably something you either have or you don’t.
I like to archive. I’m not a hoarder though. It makes me happy to collect memories, either in photos or mementos. Lots of report cards and Mother’s Day “art”. The weirdest thing is that I have almost no memories before age 6 and those that I do have from then until age 14 are hazy, at best. I know it isn’t because my life was boring, there are tons of photographs to prove it was a good and interesting childhood, but the specifics…the details of most of it are just not there.
I work hard to gather our memories now, I always say that I never want to forget this. Of course, I have said that my entire life yet I do still forget. Sometimes you just have to help yourself remember, so I take photos. Thousands of photos, at the expense, sometimes, of missing the actual moment. And I journal here, online. I never throw away a calendar at the end of the year. I have my old college planners. I have all of my parent’s photo albums, from their lives when they were together, locked in my cedar chest. I look at them once a year and squint hard to see the background. To try and trigger the details that elude me.
There are some moments in my regular ‘ol life that jump out for me to remember. Simple little things. This evening I watched when, for first time in a very long time, Connor and Corrigan connected. There is a big age gap there and while they love each other they also have little in common. In all fairness to Connor, Corrigan can be hard to connect with. He never stops moving, he has perfected the art of the cold-shoulder and is prone to floor-kicking tantrums. Connect with that, would ya?
I don’t know why this evening was any different than the last thousand, but tonight Corrigan grabbed his blanket, climbed up into the couch beside Connor and pressed his body against his brother. Maybe the fighting, shiny robots were enthralling (Iron Man 2) but he relaxed and melted into him closer. I died when I later saw Corrigan’s hand in Connor’s.
Such a corny picture I just painted, right? Awww, the brothers held hands. There was a better way to tell the story because I genuinely feel like tonight was worth remembering, or at least acknowledging, but I feel like I can’t describe it without a photo. And I tried, because I knew I wanted to try and share it. With you, whoever might be reading tonight, and needing to archive it for myself, but I knew I couldn’t convey it in just words.
Of course I ruined the moment by taking a shot (stupid auto flash because I thought, “Hey! Night mode! Finally, a use for this!) and Corrigan ran off and ignored his brother for the next 282 days. That might be an underestimate.
The brothers and this bonding thing, a true closeness in the form of taking a bullet for each other, is taking an understandably long amount of time. You cannot rush, nor cajole it into happening, but watching Corrigan trust someone other than me and Connor looking like it was all he has wanted all along, well there is just no way for me to properly explain what it feels like to be wrecked with love for my boys.
I wish you were here to have seen it.