October 2008

I have something that I need help with. I don’t understand how you can meet someone once or twice, have a conversation with them, and then see them later in passing and they don’t seem to have any idea who you are. I’m not saying they have to remember names or even details, but isn’t it reasonable to expect that a person might remember meeting in the first place?

There are two moms I see in passing at our local park. In the last year I have met each of them and had in-depth conversations with them both about issues we have in common. Not just “Oh we both have kids” conversations, but very specific conversations about pretty unique connections.

I have seen both of those moms recently in settings outside of the park, and neither had any idea who I was. Now, to be fair, I couldn’t remember their names off the top of my head, but I KNEW them. I knew that we talked at least once, I knew their faces, I knew where I met them and I remember what we talked about. I feel like it is a pretty universal experience that when you see an acquaintance you make eye contact, you might nod or smile, or even, call me crazy, say hi. There was no such experience with either woman, which left me completely baffled.

Am I expecting too much to think that people might remember


about meeting me? Are there people in the world who are so busy and whose lives are so important that they can’t possibly be expected to remember random people they meet once or twice? Are these just people who don’t remember certain experiences the way I do, or is there something about me in particular that makes me less memorable?

Both experiences made me feel a little like I did in high school when I was largely anonymous, when I would watch the cool kids from afar, knowing their names and what clubs they were in, and knowing they had no idea what my name was, let alone my interests or activities.

I get that people are busy, especially parents of young kids, and that any details that don’t contribute to the everyday functioning of the household are often cast aside and easily forgotten. But I still have this vague feeling that both of these women could have at least pretended they remembered me – surely something in the back of their head knew that I wasn’t a complete stranger?

When “event days” happen in our life, I always feel like I need to make sure to take plenty of pictures and remember the day for the future. I figure I will probably look back in 20 years and want to remember “Labor Day Weekend 2008″ or “Halloween 2010″. What did we wear, how did we feel, what a great time we had…

Today is a gray fall day in DC. We went to our local diner for breakfast this morning with my best friend from high school and her family (in town for a high school reunion I avoided…), then our two families wandered lazily around downtown Silver Spring, enjoying the last day of this season’s farmer’s market and looking at construction equipment at the site of a new ice skating rink.

We got home and settled down for lunch. Around that time it started raining, so we knew our plans to take Emma to the Takoma Park Halloween parade weren’t going to happen. I put on some James Taylor and Mike put some tomato soup on the stove and we sat down to eat.

At some point during lunch, with a long unplanned afternoon before us, rain pounding on the roof, James Taylor in the background and Emma laughing at daddy making funny faces at her, I had the feeling that I wanted to freeze the moment in time. There had been nothing particularly remarkable about our day, and it certainly wasn’t going to be marked on the calendar or show up in an annual photo album. But something about the moment felt safe and comfortable and reflective of our life on those non-“event” days.

I filled up with emotion and got all teary (which happens almost daily recently – not sure if it is the possibility of an Obama Presidency or the hormones related to pregnancy – or maybe both?) and tried to imprint the moment in my brain so that I would one day be able to remember a random day in October when just living became an event of it’s own.

I know I won’t have much trouble recalling Christmases and birthdays in years to come, but I hope I am able to equally remember little moments like today. Moments of our everyday that reflect the essence of our family, our love for each other and our life together.