Saturday, September 6, 2008


Do you remember things from when you were small. How old were you at your first memory? I have memories from when I was about 3 years old. Have you ever wondered what happens to all the memories we make before we are 3, 4, or 5? I have always believed that children probably remember things from before they could express them. As we get older we naturally remember less. It just makes sense that the first few years of our lives are the first memories lost. It is always a special treat when we get a glimpse into how children felt about the times they remember but could not yet talk about.

My youngest, Kalysa, was born premature(26 weeks gestation). She was 2 pounds and 4 ounces and was 13 inches long. She spent the first 10 weeks of her life in the NICU at Mercy Hospital, 5 of those weeks were on a ventilator.

Yesterday I was going through some old pictures and Kalysa was enjoying all of them. She wanted me to explain where we were, what we were doing, and where was she(most of them were before she was born). I finally got to a group of pictures that had a lot with her in them. She would tell me everything about them; what she remembered about the trip to San Antonio, or a favorite toy she remembered playing with. She really loved to see pictures of her as a baby with the "special" blanket she still sleeps with today. Then I found some from her time in the hospital(she has seen them all before). This is the conversation that followed....

ME: Oh look! This is when mama first got to hold you.

Kalysa: Yeah, that was before I had a home.

ME: WHAT?!? Of course you had a home. Your home is with me and daddy and Kenyon and Keslee!

Kalysa:I know! And I wanted to go there sooo bad!

WOW! Did my tiny daughter truly feel homeless? Was she wondering everyday why we were leaving her at the hospital? Did she lay in the little incubator everyday for 10 weeks just yearning to leave with us, to be with her mama all the time, to hear her brother and sister running and playing instead of the beeping of monitors from the neighboring beds. Was she dreaming of daddy picking her up in the middle of the night instead of a different nurse every 12 hours? Did this teeny tiny baby already realize that there was a place she was supposed to be and the NICU was not it-it was HOME and she wanted to be there!? I believe each answer is yes.

The question for me is not "when does life begin?" but "when do the memories begin.?". When does an unborn baby begin yearning for home, waiting for mama to hold them, dreaming of kisses from dad. According to Kalysa they had already begun 14 weeks before she was even due to experience any of them.

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