Things I Want To Remember Right Now

posted in: Humor, Motherhood 77 comments

“The most beautiful moments always seemed to accelerate and slip beyond one’s grasp just when you want to hold onto them for as long as possible.” 
– E.A. BucchianeriBrushstrokes of a Gadfly


You think that when you write a blog, have numerous social media outlets in which to express yourself, you’d record down every moment in words and pictures, because time is an asshole and it makes this whoosh sound as it flies by. 

Truth: you live in those moments long enough to capture them in your heart, but your (almost) 38 year old brain can’t remember them afterwards. Then you think, well, I better write them down now, blog every moment, because isn’t that the point?

Then you get distracted by the idea of coffee with a bite of chocolate, and your 2 year old spots you scoffing down your secret stash of chocolates, and all hell breaks loose. You then think, well, I better write THIS down – my 2 year old has good eyes, and he can’t be fooled! And I better find a new hiding place for my treats.

So you sit down to write something, then your 4 year old tells you he has to go to the bathroom NOW, RightThisSecond, despite the fact you asked him a dozen times if he had to the past 30 minutes. You get up, make sure he pees in the bowl and doesn’t try to touch the pee water with his hands, and that he flushes. Also, wash hands thoroughly, my boy. 

You get back to your laptop to write that down too, because there will come a time when all your kids are old enough to go to the bathroom on their own WITHOUT touching allthethings (because time, asshole). 

Then you spot your kids hugging, OMG, must take a picture and post it on Instagram, because all the cuteness! You run and grab your phone, and fuck, why are your fingers so fat, why is it not going to the camera function, oh there it is, and boom, the moment is lost, because you spent too much time trying to figure out your smart(er than you) phone. So you not only missed most of the hug live, you missed taking a picture of it. 

One of the hugging moments I DID manage to photograph

One of the hugging moments I DID manage to photograph

You troop back to your laptop dejectedly, sit down and drink your now-getting-cold-coffee. The 4 year old starts drawing on his new easel, and OMG, he drew the sun! You run over to cheer him on, phone in hand, making sure you know where the camera function button is, and voila, he erases it and starts writing numbers. Okay, you can still capture this, because, awesome. 

Then you think, damn I’m a douche, I should VIDEO this for his father! Then you of course, fail to press the record button (fat fingers, asshat phone), and he rubs it all off again, and decides to go do something decidedly less exciting. 

As you make your way back to your laptop, you realize that really, you should sit down and watch the kids do their thing, even as a spectator, because not a helicopter mom, hell no, but you shouldn’t be a always-on-a-device-mom. 

Then you think, damn I’m going to miss when they’re 4 and 2, and do your best to remember all this anyway. 

 Is your phone an asshole too?

Alison Lee is a former PR and marketing professional turned work-at-home mother. After a 10-year career in various PR agencies, and of the world’s biggest sports brands, Alison traded in product launches and world travel, for sippy cups, diapers, and breastfeeding. Alison's writing has been featured on Mamalode, On Parenting at The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Everyday Family, Scary Mommy, and She is one of 35 essayists in the anthology, My Other Ex: Women’s True Stories of Leaving and Losing Friends. In 2012, she founded Little Love Media, a social media consultancy specializing in blog book tours, and because she doesn’t sleep, is an editor at BonBon Break, an online magazine. Alison lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with her husband and four children (two boys and boy/ girl twins).

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  • August 4, 2014 Janine Huldie

    I truly thought I was the only one who had a train of thought similar to this. Seriously, I lost count how many times I have tried (keyword) to write this past weekend and have stopped because of so ething my kids needed or even did that I had to photo or video. I know the guilty feeling well that I will truly miss this time when they grow up. So, I was totally reading and shaking my head yes to so much of this. And by the way, my iPhone 4 is on it’s last leg, so yes it is totally an asshole! 😉

    • August 19, 2014 Alison

      Oh dude, get yourself an Android! (though assholery is also guaranteed to an extent – or is it just my stupid fat fingers?)

  • August 4, 2014 Julia

    This is hilarious and so much like my day minus the 2 kids. I hate that I miss the moment and I am always drinking cold coffee and that I never get the video that i wanted.
    Julia recently wrote…Morristown National ParkMy Profile

    • August 19, 2014 Alison

      Right? Life just doesn’t like us or something.

  • August 4, 2014 Charlotte

    Awww, I love this. I think you’re doing a remarkable job of capturing all you can in photos and storing what you are able in memories. What a beautiful gift. And this photo of your little ones hugging. Oooof. XOXO and hope you had a lovely weekend with your gorgeous family, momma.
    Charlotte recently wrote…Wish I Was Here review (and scattered thoughts)My Profile

    • August 19, 2014 Alison

      Oh I try, I really do, Charlotte. But there are so many I missed documenting, and I’m worried my rapidly ageing brain cannot retain all of them forever. Sigh.

  • August 4, 2014 Christine

    Oh yes. I was just thinking about this last night, how I feel like there’s been so much change and growing up lately and I want to capture that but I’ve been really bad about capturing that. Then, on the flip side is being the always-on-a-device-mom and I want my kids to remember my face during these moments growing up and not just my face behind a smartphone. That hugging photo? So so sweet!
    Christine recently wrote…Ask a Yogini: What are the Best Yoga Poses For Headaches?My Profile

    • August 19, 2014 Alison

      It’s just that elusive balance yet again, isn’t it? I try to be away from screens when I’m with them unless I’m taking pictures or videos, and limit screen time to when they’re napping, at school or in bed. But it’s not always possible. Sigh.

  • August 4, 2014 Shannon

    As the time quickly approaches for my oldest to leave the nest, I have been frantically trying to remember every last thing about her as a little one. But I can’t. I have to trust that, though I can’t remember all of the things and I don’t have photos and video of all of the things, they did happen and they were good (for the most part). I do wish i had more video though, more of those sweet little voices.
    Shannon recently wrote…IT’S AUGUST ALREADY…My Profile

    • August 19, 2014 Alison

      I think the kids remember more things than we do when they hit a certain age. I’m sure your daughter heads off to college (OMG) with so many wonderful memories to tide her through those days away from home. Oh yes, the little voices, I can’t get enough of them!

  • August 4, 2014 AwesomelyOZ

    Thankfully my phone isn’t an asshole – not most of the time. I’m the opposite I don’t grab for my phone enough when I’m with my son.. I go in bursts of moments when I want to take tons of photos and then points where I just forget it has that functionality. Enjoy every moment before the clock resets! Have a great one Alison! -Iva
    AwesomelyOZ recently wrote…7 Facts for A Smarter You Courtesy of MoiMy Profile

    • August 19, 2014 Alison

      I find that I’m taking more photos with my phone than my DSLR, simply because it’s more at hand. Though I need to whip out the big camera more too, because quality. But videos, I need more videos!

  • August 4, 2014 Jennie Goutet

    First of all, I loooove that picture. Second of all, I laughed and related to this post so hard. Ohmygoodness. I have accepted that I am going to forget everything.
    Jennie Goutet recently wrote…Six Dishes to Discover the Soul of ParisMy Profile

    • August 19, 2014 Alison

      I’m glad I made you laugh 🙂
      Oh I just know that I’ll forget a lot too. I just hope it won’t be everything.

  • August 5, 2014 Kerstin

    My phone is definitely smarter than me and while I can usually make my kids and husband hold a pose (even though my husband refuses to smile), my dog is not cooperating. Damn, those great shots I’ve missed of that damn dog 😉
    (that hugging picture? I die.) xoxox
    Kerstin recently wrote…Experience2014 – July Round-UpMy Profile

    • August 19, 2014 Alison

      Hah! Damn dog indeed 🙂

  • August 5, 2014 Angela Youngblood

    I feel like this so much of the time. I love the hug moment you did capture, so sweet.
    Angela Youngblood recently wrote…Everyday StoriesMy Profile

    • August 19, 2014 Alison

      Thank you! I’m lucky they held that hug for as long as they did. 🙂

  • August 5, 2014 Kristin Shaw

    So funny, and so true!! OMG, this is definitely me sometimes.
    I feel like I am trying to pin a wave to the sand while he is little to save all of these moments.
    Kristin Shaw recently wrote…BecauseMy Profile

    • August 19, 2014 Alison

      That is such a good way to describe it!

  • August 5, 2014 Amy

    My oldest is now at the age where when she sees me pull out my phone, she immediately stops doing whatever it was to prevent me from capturing the goodness. She thinks it’s funny. So now I lurk around like a creeper trying to photograph them incognito. I’m going to have to hire a private investigator to do it for me. Preferably one without fat fingers.
    Amy recently wrote…Summer is *still* not the season for bloggingMy Profile

    • August 19, 2014 Alison

      Bahahaha! I can just imagine you creeping around trying to snap pictures, heh.

  • August 5, 2014 Leigh Ann

    I ache sometimes thinking about all of the things I have forgotten, that I didn’t get to document. But perusing through the things I DID document makes me feel better. There’s definitely something to be said for living in the moment.

    • August 19, 2014 Alison

      You’re right, NEED TO LOOK AT THE THINGS WE DID MANAGE TO PHOTOGRAPH. I do love looking at all photos/ videos, and then sobbing into my t-shirt. Sigh.

  • August 5, 2014 Jennifer Hall

    Time is SUCH an asshole, Alison! My daughter just turned 14 and got her period! OMG!
    Jennifer Hall recently wrote…Not My Favorite CauseMy Profile

    • August 19, 2014 Alison

      OMG, NO!!!!!! Did you have to do the period talk earlier? That is NOT something I look forward to with a girl on the way.

      • August 25, 2014 Jennifer Hall

        No earlier than need be. Fourteen isn’t too young. I was 13. We were actually starting to wonder WHEN it would happen!
        Jennifer Hall recently wrote…Summer: Um….What?My Profile

  • August 5, 2014 Jennifer

    That is one of my favorite photos ever. For real. And yes. Record it all, but experience it all, but live it all, but observe it all… Too many alls and not enough mes.
    Jennifer recently wrote…Minecraft ConversationsMy Profile

    • August 19, 2014 Alison

      It’s one of my favorites too. And you’re right as usual – live it all.

  • August 5, 2014 Tamara

    My phone is SUCH an asshole. I tell it so every day. I’m about due for an upgrade anyway.
    I also called my computer an asshole the other day. And one of my cats.
    The truth is, they were all assholes. However, I also needed a break.
    Tamara recently wrote…A Pumpkin Stew Recipe To Blow Your Mind.My Profile

    • August 19, 2014 Alison

      I hope you get a better, less asshole-y phone soon!
      Also, cats ARE assholes. I love them, but they are.

  • August 5, 2014 Lisa

    HaHaHa!!! And, YEP!!!!!! I find myself doing something with my girls and thinking, “How can I turn this into a blog post or a FB status or a funny tweet?” Then, they start saying,” Mom! Hey Mom!” and I realize that I totally zoned out for a minute while composing the post/FB status/tweet in my head. Then, I feel guilty for not soaking in every last second. Then, round and round we go!!!!!
    Lisa recently wrote…Building CathedralsMy Profile

    • August 19, 2014 Alison

      The circle of blogging and social media, haha!

  • August 5, 2014 Kara

    The more I try to remember, the more I seem to forget. The memories slip through my fingers like water whenever I try to grasp them … I hear you completely.

    • August 19, 2014 Alison

      Which is why I feel the need to write all of them down. And tell someone else so that they can take on some of the responsibility of remembering (the someone would be my husband!).

  • August 5, 2014 Robin

    Ha! Totally. And I literally just bought a journal yesterday to use to record things the boys say, because I’m never going to remember. And maybe if I leave it in my living room I’ll remember to jot stuff down.
    Robin recently wrote…A #GreatList and Giving BackMy Profile

    • August 19, 2014 Alison

      I always think I should do that. I have SO many journals lying around, including one gorgeous leather bound one – still untouched. I’m just not great with writing things down with pen and paper, sigh.

  • August 5, 2014 The Bride

    I had pretty much given up on this for reasons you mentioned, but then I felt that I really should record at least some moments because if nothing else might as well live up to the mommyblogger tag.

    I’ve started using Evernote, just to jot down points, funny stuff they said etc. I even do it at the end of the day sometimes if not right in the minute.

    Given up on photos mostly, as I don’t want to be one of those papparazzi parents. I take them sometimes, but I’m pleased that I’ve found a way to record in writing at least some of the moments.

    • August 19, 2014 Alison

      I tell my husband when the kids say funny things. Or I share it on Facebook and Twitter. At least it’s somewhere for posterity right?
      I’m a picture-taker, so we’re stuck with that 🙂
      I’m glad you’ve found a way of documenting the moments!

  • Yes my phone can be a little bitch sometimes…
    That picture is so wonderfull! Your boys are so cute.
    Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes recently wrote…From Friday to Sunday, capturing the momentsMy Profile

    • August 19, 2014 Alison

      Thank you! It’s one of my favorites ever, and I’m so glad I was there to capture it.

  • August 5, 2014 Alexandra Rosas

    I have taken so many pictures in my mind. Closed my eyes, and memorized them and the beauty.. the beauty of that moment, a photo tries but the real feel of your heart.. how can we ever capture that??? xoxo (this picture is incredible….)

    • August 19, 2014 Alison

      I do that too, sometimes. But my brain can only retain so much. Hence, my frenzy of picture taking with the phone and the camera. I just want to be able to look through them in my old age. And weep into my muumuu. Sigh.

  • August 5, 2014 Jessica

    Such a sweet picture! I do my best to capture the precious moments of my children’s childhoods, but, yeah, it’s tough always do that electronically. So now I try to just be in the moment. If taking a picture or writing something is easy in that moment, then I do it. But I don’t stress out about it. There’s more joy for me in feeling like I lived in these memories versus just capturing them anyway.

    • August 19, 2014 Alison

      As my friend Jennifer says, live it all!

  • August 6, 2014 Tove M Stakkestad

    SO TRUE – this happens all the time. I am so scared I will miss everything… and then I realize that I saw it through my stupid phone! I have to learn to put the phone down!!! Thanks for the reminder
    Tove M Stakkestad recently wrote…Pen > Paper > Heart: Letter to the Twenty-Something MomMy Profile

    • August 19, 2014 Alison

      Oh, don’t put the phone down all the time! Sometimes, they ARE worth capturing, especially videos. Because it’s those moments in time with their actions and voices that are truly difficult to remember. It’s my way of ‘bottling up’ all those precious moments – video.

  • August 6, 2014 Rorybore

    My phone isn’t too much trouble…. but my computer was a complete asshat this weekend. thank you virus makers of the interweb. I got the virus off by restoring my entire system, but now when I thought all was well, today I got a sluggish system and no patience to do any more research into why.
    It’s even harder to use my big girl camera though. I have to run to my room and get my camera bag. attach the right lens. remember to take off the lens cap (dummy) and of course… the moment is long gone by then.
    so I’ve become content to just bask in the moments as they happen. Another one will be a long in a moment. and another. and then again….
    Rorybore recently wrote…Monday’s Music: Had Enough?My Profile

    • August 19, 2014 Alison

      Argh with the computer problems – I hope you’ve resolved that!
      Yes, the big girl camera can be a pain when you want to capture candid moments. I usually just use whatever lens is on (with the cap off), snap away then quickly adjust any settings without losing too much time. Only works about 50% of the time!

  • August 6, 2014 Rebecca

    I am definitely in the fat fingers club…my little sausages have cost me quite a few lost moments. Yay for using the potty like a big boy and boo to cold coffee. Some days I go through 2 or 3 hot gone cold coffees before getting a sip of one. I LOVE this post! It reads like my thought process only with 945834958435 times more flow
    Rebecca recently wrote…Breathing Like My Life Depends on itMy Profile

    • August 19, 2014 Alison

      Hah, thank you! Cold coffee sucks hairy donkey balls.

  • August 6, 2014 Tricia

    Oh my goodness so I’m not the only one who does this dance? Every single blessed day? Every last detail of this is true. Especially the part where time is an asshole. Yep, totally right.
    Tricia recently wrote…GogglesMy Profile

    • August 19, 2014 Alison

      It’s the Dance of All Moms Everywhere!

  • August 6, 2014 tracy

    I keep thinking I need to record their little voices. How they sound as kids. It will blow their minds one day. xo
    tracy recently wrote…I Wore A Romper And Did Not Pee My PantsMy Profile

    • August 19, 2014 Alison

      I think I say this every day, “OMG I LOVE THEIR LITTLE VOICES!”, then I fail to record them. Must. Do. It.

  • August 6, 2014 Jin Ai

    You said it. Exactly how I feel about Time too. Recently I bought journals for each of my kiddos because I wanna capture my for-their-eyes-only thoughts and feelings I have about them. Like, kidding?? I can hardly capture enough for the blog! Sheesh… Trying, trying!
    Jin Ai recently wrote…DelightMy Profile

    • August 19, 2014 Alison

      That is a GREAT idea! Maybe you can just do short one-liners for each kid daily. Or one paragraph per week. Says she who barely has time to finish writing a shopping list in one sitting. 🙂

  • August 7, 2014 My Inner Chick

    AHHHH, Alison Lee,
    that photo almost done me in 🙂
    I agree.
    Time. IS. An. Asshole.
    There is no way to stop it…No way to go back.
    My Inner Chick recently wrote…21 Things About Girlfriends, Blogging, Imperfection, Gillian Flynn, & Other ShitMy Profile

    • August 19, 2014 Alison

      There isn’t, and it makes me sad. Sigh. xo

  • August 7, 2014 JDaniel4's Mom

    I only took our camera to the beach once this week. The rest of the time I watched JDaniel play in the surf. I loved getting offline and just observing.
    JDaniel4’s Mom recently wrote…Changing to Olive Oil- Making Quesadilla PizzaMy Profile

    • August 19, 2014 Alison

      Living in the moments- that’s a good way to live!

  • August 8, 2014 heidi

    Oh my gosh, Alison! This post made me laugh. “Because time, asshole.”…hilarious. I’m really feeling that time is sped up lately and it is freaking me out. I just want everything to stop.
    That photo of your boys hugging. Are you kidding me?! So, so sweet.

    • August 19, 2014 Alison

      Right?? Stupid time. I can just hear it whooshing past me RIGHT NOW.

  • August 9, 2014 Natalie

    Ha ha so true! It’s like you want to be in the moment but OMG if it’s not captured it won’t be remembered right? LOL we can’t win!
    Natalie recently wrote…Tomorrow You Are TwoMy Profile

    • August 19, 2014 Alison

      If you didn’t photograph/ film/ write it all down, did it really happen? 🙂

  • August 12, 2014 Debi

    My phone is a slow asshole and my fingers are fat because I sit at a desk all day until I remember to run and capture fleeting moments. The guilt it wrecks me. You are not alone, mama. XO
    Debi recently wrote…I am Robin WilliamsMy Profile

    • August 19, 2014 Alison

      It’s a parenting thing!

  • August 12, 2014 Kimberly

    This is my day, every day, just with a couple more kids thrown in there.

    But really. Time can suck it. It’s such an asshole.

    • August 19, 2014 Alison

      We really need to start teaching the kids to photograph/ film themselves doing cute things, because Mom can’t keep up. 🙂

  • August 12, 2014 Amanda

    Before there were phones there were other things, and after the phones there will be something else. I think that the real asshole is time and endurance, but I have soul-deep faith in the power of love and the impact of moments.
    Amanda recently wrote…Anything Can BeMy Profile

    • August 19, 2014 Alison

      You’re right, time, endurance. Things completely out of our control. Sigh.

  • August 13, 2014 Greta

    Ah, yes. So perfect. Have you been following me around? No? It’s universal then? YES.
    Greta recently wrote…How To Avoid Buying Toilet Paper For A Year #sheethappens #giveawayMy Profile

    • August 19, 2014 Alison

      It is, isn’t it? Sigh.

  • August 13, 2014 Sisters From Another Mister

    and the years fly by and then I stand in the shower and think of an awesome blogpost that would just capture those words… but then I get out and get dry and cannot remember one single thought of it 😉
    Sisters From Another Mister recently wrote…Facebook. The Real World.My Profile

    • August 19, 2014 Alison

      Ooh, this happens to me all the time!!

  • August 14, 2014 Roxanne

    I am always missing great photo moments, and then I’m sad because I know my memory is terrible and I will never remember all those moments. I’m trying to get better, but it’s hard to be IN the moment and cherishing it while still finding a way to REMEMBER it.
    Roxanne recently wrote…Conversations with my son: On equalityMy Profile

    • August 19, 2014 Alison

      Yes, exactly. It’s such a conundrum!

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