The Things You Realise You Can’t Remember

Through life it’s natural to forget things. You forget things to help you move on and deal with life, you forget things as they’re just not that important to remember and I firmly believe that you forget things when your head is just too full and there is something new to remember in its place.

But often you don’t know you’ve forgotten things until you realise you can’t remember them and this could be a few hours later, a month down the line or even years later when suddenly there’s a gap in your memory, a blank space and you wonder what once filled that void.

A few weeks ago LP and I were having a chat, as we always do, whilst I was brushing her hair in the morning, ready for school. I called her my pet names for her – something along the lines of ‘Little Pickle Poppet Socks’ and she asked whether that’s what my Mum called me when I was little.

I was taken aback for a moment. Not because of the random mention of my mother – as LP asks a lot about my family, where they are, who is who’s parents and what they’re all doing now. But, this was different. This was different because I just couldn’t remember.

You see, I have called LP ‘Pickle’ and variations of that since the day she was born and I can’t imagine a day when she won’t be my Little Pickle. Yet, if my parents had a pet name for me I have no memory of it.

I haven’t lived at home since just after my 17th Birthday and I haven’t had any close mother-daughter conversations since then either. That’s 15 years of not having a mother-daughter relationship and 15 years of my memories fading and the less important aspects slipping from my mind.

I realised after LP’s offhand comment that so much is written into pet names, little gestures and the hugs and things that we weave into day to day life. I constantly talk to the children, hold their hands, bend down to kiss them on the head and stroke their arms absentmindedly when we’re watching TV. We are such a close family and I hope, in years to come, that these are the things the children remember.

I hope that LP will always be our Little Pickle, that Little Man will always be just that and when they’re adults, with families of their own, they’ll remember being my Little Sausage or Poppet Socks, they’ll remember holding my hand and they’ll remember just how loved they were.

But more than that I hope that when they are all grown up, with their own children running around, that we will still be this close, and they will still feel just as loved as they are now.

The Things You Realise You Can't Remember


  • Donna Wishart

    Donna Wishart is married to Dave and they have two children, Athena (12) and Troy (11). They live in Surrey with their two cats, Fred and George. Once a Bank Manager, Donna has been writing about everything from family finance to days out, travel and her favourite recipes since 2012. Donna is happiest either exploring somewhere new, with her camera in her hand and family by her side or snuggled up with a cat on her lap, reading a book and enjoying a nice cup of tea. She firmly believes that tea and cake can fix most things.

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  1. You’ve made me try and think back to my childhood, and I don’t recall any pet names for myself or any of my siblings. I don’t know that we were that sort of a family, but we have TONS of nicknames for our kids. and I hope they will remember some of them when they are older.

  2. Staying close to my children is one of my greatest hopes as a parent. I’ve always had a difficult relationship with my mum and I worry that the same thing will happen between me and my girls so I do everything I can to make sure it doesn’t.

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