My youngest grandchild turned four today and several times her conversation started with “Remember when…” We laughed because it sounds so funny for a little one to be looking back at experiences she remembers in her short life, short compared to ours. I was thinking about it and realized what a big step it is. Up until now her life was all about what lay in front of her. Now, she has a little bit of past and she’s remembering and comparing it to now. Wonder how long she’s been doing this and just didn’t have the verbal skills to tell us about it?

I’m constantly astounded by how much a child learns in the first few years as those little sponge brains soak up everything around them. Today’s children must come out of the womb knowing how to use all the technologically advanced gear we carry around. This one has almost never lived without an iPad and there have always been cell phones in her little life. She’s my first grandchild whose life is over photographed (I plead guilty without shame) due to digital photography and the ability to edit and send photos immediately. She’ll never even think about those things because it’s all she’s ever known. I wonder what incredible things lie in her future?

We were driving through downtown today and she was remembering other times we had been there and what we had done, which streets we had been on, who we were with. She’s been doing that for quite awhile actually. Her little history is pretty exciting to her, which means we’ve all done a good job providing great experiences for her.

This is a big day. From now on, she’ll be forever saying, “Remember when…” and adding more chapters to her story. Looking back at my own story, doing my own personal “remember whens,” I can only hope for her and for all my grandchildren that they have a wonderful life full of love, family, friends and great memories. Of course, we know there will be the not so good times, and this little one has already had more than her share of those as she lost her Daddy and Grandma, but I hope that there are so many good “remember whens” to get her through the sad times, the hard times, the challenging times.

When you get to be my age, you have lots of memories to deal with, to sort through, to put in perspective. Your brain is so cluttered with a lifetime stuffed into that internal file room that you sometimes have to do a search to find what it is you want to remember. Today, I enjoyed listening to a little one with a brain that is filling oh so quickly ask me to “Remember when…” Today was a special day to add to her memories and I’m so glad I was there.