I’ve been a mom for over a decade. I’m acutely aware that these years are going too fast. I understand the notion that this day with my children will be lived only once, and then will be gone forever. I get it. As much as I miss rocking my sweet snuggly babies, I also already miss the stages they’re in now. I know how much I’ll miss my son’s ornery glances, and the fact that his entire face is a tell when he’s fibbing. I’ll miss my middle little’s enthusiasm for every single part of life. She’s just as excited for spaghetti as she is for Christmas, and I know that zest is not eternal. Every time my youngest masters a word she has always said wrong, I mourn the loss of her funny toddler dutch.

I try every day to soak in the good while it’s happening, but I’m well aware that my brain is incapable of remembering the important things. I’m 60% song lyrics, and 30% useless trivia. There are far too many beautiful moments with my children for me to keep them all up there in the 10% left, especially when I can’t seem to forget my many parenting fails. Those suckers seem to stick like glue. If you think I have a single cell to spare for things like remembering to turn off the oven, you’re wrong. You know, once you get a few too many browser tabs open, it’s difficult to keep track of the life and death ones.

I realize my absent-mindedness is a combination of having a creative brain and three children. There’s no app or planner that can fix the way my mind operates. Believe me, I’ve tried. Instead, this year I will take too many pictures. I’ll write down their funny quotes, and record every story. I’ll forgive myself when I have a bad mom day so that I can make room in the memory bank for all the times I’m getting it right. I’ll give myself the gift of grace, and the presence of mind to know that we’re creating memories for our children as well as ourselves. Each of them only gets to live this day once, and it’s gone. What can we do to make sure these memories are keepers?