A Name

They were all asleep. The house was tidy. I sat down to fill out college applications, but I looked at my reflection in the window and ended up writing this. Instead of me, I saw a teenage girl in the chaise doing homework. That teenage girl will be having her second birthday next week. But I saw her as a frizzy-haired teenager who had long since gotten over crying every time her mom left the room.

And it dawned on me that that girl won't remember me. She won't have memories of me when someone says my name. All she'll have is a fuzzy recognition that I used to babysit her.

She won't remember when I made her stop eating rocks. She won't remember that I taught her to say "yes" instead of always saying "no". She won't know I held her hand and steadied her through endless circles when she was first experiencing the exhilaration of walking. All she'll remember is a name.