It’s something first said to me by a few Nurses in Hospital when my daughter was merely days old. As painful procedures were taking place to my tiny premature daughter; “she won’t remember any of this”. They meant it in kindness, as a reassurance. But it did the opposite. I passionately believe that whilst their early experiences may not be something they can tangibly recall, they shape their brains. The surges of hormones can instil stress or calm.
If we are running with the logic of; ‘they won’t remember so don’t worry’, we might as well leave our children in a corner until they have full recall. Don’t worry about the hug-they won’t remember, don’t sooth the baby, if it can’t recall it specifically, it doesn’t count.
With the same logic applied, this is why we love to travel and explore with our young daughter. Perhaps she won’t remember specific details. But she is learning, she is absorbing, these experiences are building her into the Woman she will become. The flavours, the faces, the smells and sounds. Tracing new pathways through her young brain. And the smiles of her Parents, the quality time spent with us, when we can give her our energy, and focus, that’s not something which needs to wait until she is old enough to experience.
I can’t remember exact details of lots of the things which have formed me. I spent six months in India at nineteen, and whilst I struggle to recall day to day events, the over all experiences has shaped me. I don’t remember the hours my Mother spent playing with me, consoling me, teaching me, but it has all contributed to make me the person I have become.
So don’t wait until they are “old enough to remember”, because you will remember for them. Do it now, because tomorrow is never guaranteed.