Friday, July 13, 2007

Kyle Shares a Memory

We have been talking a lot about the concept of memories around here lately. The boys love the classic children's game Memory and when they match the game pieces correctly (which is almost always) they love exclaiming "I remembered!" and hearing us cheer "You have such a good memory!" They love hearing stories of our family adventures over and over and over and saying, "Do you remember that?" They often bring up experiences and events from the recent past and say "Do you remember when we ____?!" (for example, "Mama, Do you remember when we went to the ocean?! We did that yesterday! Do you remember?")

Today just after their naps Kyle, Owen, and I were lying together in Owen's bed. The boys were cuddly and still just waking up. Kyle and Owen's bodies were all entwined together --arms and legs wrapped all around one another, torsos touching-- and when they are so intimately physical with each other like this I'm often reminded of how special it must be to experience life with a twin. As we were lying there our lazy summer afternoon conversation turned to one of their current favorite subjects: talking about when they were babies. Owen said, "When I was a little tiny baby I was in the orphanage." Kyle chimed in, "Me too!" We talked a bit about when they were babies in Haiti. I was telling them about how they shared a crib in the orphanage and never slept a night apart until they came home to our own house. We were talking and it was a slow, easy, quiet kind of talking. No real point to the conversation. No real destination that any of us seemed to be trying to get to. No agenda, just wandering. The kind of conversation you really only have when you're lying in bed with someone having just woken up. Then Kyle very calmly but deliberately said something ~~ and suddenly the moment felt stunning and profound for me:

Owen was lying between Kyle and I, and Kyle purposefully lifted up his head to have eye contact with me. He looked right at me and completely out of the blue he said: "Mommy, when you were coming to get me, I heard you coming. In the orphanage. I heard you when you were coming to get me."

It felt like time stood still for that second -- like he was telling me something really, really important to him. To me it felt like he was choosing to share something special with me. Intellectually I know that it is probably impossible that a three year old child could remember an experience from when he was an eight month old baby. However, given the intensity of the experience, the huge life-changing character of it, the trauma-and-relief of that single turning-point moment in his life, the extreme nature of that moment... maybe it is possible that he indeed does have the memory? There was something about the way he said it, something about the way he shared the memory with me, that made me feel deep, deep inside that he was telling the truth --- that he really actually does remember hearing us when we were coming to get him on January 31, 2005 in Haiti.

When we went to the orphanage to get the boys Kyle was in a side room lying on a bed mattress completely and utterly alone. It is very possible (probably likely) that even as an eight-month-old baby he had sensed all day that it was a different kind of day. The nannies had cleaned him and braided his hair and dressed him in a full set of clothes (all of those things were unusual for a typical day). Rock (the orphanage director) had left and surely everyone was in a flurry of excitement knowing that he was on his way to the airport to pick up someone's adoptive parents. And surely the children in the orphanage were all revved up -- it isn't every day that someone gets taken home, never to return. As I think more about it, I actually believe what my three year old boy told me this afternoon. I'm sure as a baby he knew the day was something out of the ordinary. And then he heard the commotion in the main room of Braydon and I arriving. And then, just a couple of minutes later, Rock entered that side room, and picked him up, and then without any hesitation Rock placed a-tiny-hungry-baby-Kyle into Braydon's arms. And Kyle's life was changed forever. I think that today Kyle shared a memory that is profound: "Mommy, when you were coming to get me I heard you coming. In the orphanage. I heard you when you were coming to get me."

"You did?" I said. "Yes, I did. I heard you coming." said Kyle. "I believe you," I said, "thank you Kyle, thank you for telling me that you remember that." He laid his head back down next to Owen's and said, "O.k. mommy." And the conversation drifted onward.

10 comments:

Tim & Sarah said...

Those sweet intimate moments are absoulty precious! Thanks for sharing! Sarah

cloudscome said...

That is really touching. I am sure he does remember.

MorMor said...

What a very special menory for Kyle and what a very special moment for you. Warms my heart. Precious, precious boys... MorMor

Anonymous said...

What an incredible and touching story Heather; it made me cry!

Melanie

theghelertertwins.blogspot.com said...

What memories your boys have. So special.

trish said...

I believe he remembers. My girls have memories they have shared with me also.
You write so beautifully. Your blog has been a long time favorite of mine.

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful memory and sweet moment between a boy and his mama!

lori said...

that story made me cry..cry.. and cry...

xoxo
lori

lori said...

that story made me cry..cry.. and cry...

xoxo
lori

alisacat said...

That made my cry too! It's beautiful. The whole memory of you coming to get them is so powerful, the makings of novel.
*alisa