Neil and I make a good team - we fill in each others weaknesses pretty well. It's one of the things that make us a good couple.
I get stressed out and want to get everything done NOW. He calms me and reminds me to relax and enjoy life. But I can motivate him to get things done, when he wants to procrastinate.
I tend to hold on to friends even when the friendship turns unhealthy. Neil reminds me it's ok to let go. But I remind him sometimes a friendship is worth fighting for.
Neil can find it easier to remember the sad or negative parts. I find it easier to remember the happy parts. We balance each other, so the memory isn't skewed one way or another.
He can't remember where the car is once we get to a place. Or can't navigate his way to the place. I am pretty good at remembering both.
Despite my good short term memory, my long term memory is horrible. I have a different way of remembering things. Some of the bigger events, I remember a picture of it. Like taking one or two images from a movie that reminds you of the whole film. But most of the time I remember the emotion of an event. And when the emotion fades, so does the memory.
With Maddy here, with us, I try to remember my childhood. I try to remember believing in the tooth fairy or Santa or the Easter bunny. I try to remember my first days of school, my childhood homes, my favorite friends, and all the things you do as a child. And there are pictures of some of these events. I remember driving hom from my aunt and uncle's place Christmas eve and looking into the car beside me and seeing Santa, in the car. I remember him putting his hands under his cheek, mimicking going to sleep, and I remember the fear that Santa was getting close and we had to rush home NOW. But the more I try to clear up the memory and hold on to it, the farther away it gets. It's like looking up at the stars in the sky. If you look straight at them, so just can't see the seven stars of the Seven Sisters. But if you look, casually, out of the corner of your eye? There they are! But try to look at the head on again and some fade away... Neil is the exact opposite. He can tell me stories of every moment of a childhood event so clearly that I can see it all happening, like I was there.
What will Maddy be like? Will she be like Neil, and remember it all? Or like me, and hold on to the emotion and then let it drift away...
What will I say when her 3 year old self wants to know what my favorite Christmas gift was? Or her 5 year old self wants to know when I stopped believing in Santa. Or what I thought about my first trip to Disneyland... What do I tell her, when I can't remember?