I had a slumber party with my mom on Friday night. It was the weekend of men's retreat and both of our husbands were away. We decided to order pizza and rent a movie and not think about how the boogie man could get us because Troy and Dad weren't there to bash him over the head with a baseball bat, or, in Troy's case, the sword he keeps next to his side of the bed. The boogie man's gun has nothing on that sword or the medieval knight who is wielding it. I'm not sure it can be called a slumber party given the fact that my mother was in her bed, I was in the guest room, my infant son was in the pack 'n play in the office, and there was no prank calling involved, but I like to think of it that way. After our movie, I turned in for the night. As I was settling down in the guest room I glanced up at the ceiling and a few, bright, specks caught my eye. Wayward stars left over from my early teenage years, when the guest room wasn't a guest room at all but the place where a little girl had grown up. I laid awake for awhile thinking about those stars and all the changing I had done in that room and all the dreams that had come true and how it was comforting in a nostalgic way that my parents had left a few up as tribute to the daughter who had more or less spread her wings and hovered. I hope they think I'm flying but I try to use the wind under me to its full potential and allow it to maintain an optimum level of floating. The next morning I found out that the little stars had merely evaded my father's putty knife. They aren't supposed to be there at all, it's just impossible to see them in the daylight and who wants to stand on a ladder in the middle of the night to scrape them off? It's okay that my nostalgic fantasy was shattered, God must have given me a double dose of "reminisce" and I don't expect the rest of the world to meet my quota.
As I lay there, though, contemplating the stars, I realized that I forgot to remember what I swore I'd never forget. Of course I remember Christmas morning and Fourth of July parades and Halloween costumes. But I can't remember a single pancake breakfast in my pajamas. And because I know there were many, I am disturbed by this. I remember the last night I slept in that bedroom before I got married but I can't remember the night before that or the night before that and I certainly can't remember the night before I went to college even though that was the last night that it was really my room. I remember that my brother got older, just like I did. I forgot to recall what he was like as a little boy and if it weren't for pictures, I'd always think of him as a man pushing twenty-three. I don't like thinking of my brother as a man. Part of me wants him to be seven. I forgot to remember the smells of dinner cooking when dinner was still something that magically appeared in front of me and I did nothing to prepare it. Of course, I remember alot. But it's the memories just beyond the reach of my fingertips that I miss. Truthfully, I forgot the stars. They were banished to a part of my brain seldom used, a storage bin where I've also placed the Pythagorean Theorem and how to make those paper snowflakes. And when I looked up and saw them, a sense of peace washed over me that at least, if I forgot to remember things, the stars and consequently, the walls of that room, reminisce. So Mom and Dad, if you read this, if it wouldn't be too much of a hassle to leave those stars on my ceiling...or rather, the ceiling of your guest room, it would mean alot to me. Oh and also, please never sell the house. But move with me if I move. And bring my brother too. Those are my requests. And thank you, all of you, for all the things you help me to remember.