From the Mouth of Babes: Recording Special Moments

• 18 August 2010























Several years ago I read an article about a father who wrote down a cute/funny/memorable thing his son did every day of his child's life. After 18 years of continuing this tradition, he presented the book to his college-bound son. The son emotionally shared how touched he was that his father put forth such great effort to create this priceless gift. Can you imagine a better gift from your parent?

As this story resonated so deeply with me, I began a little project of my own. I had to tweak the idea a little as I am a terrible (I should really spell that out in all caps) journal writer. The key for me was making it manageable; I wasn't sure it would happen every single day, although I am certainly in love with the idea. What I did was create a document in Microsoft Word called "Cute Things My Kids Say and Do". It isn't perfectly organized (I figure I'll do that later when I put it into a Blurb book or something), but it has all the facts, names and dates right and those are the things that matter to me most. Just recording these cute happenings and sayings feels like an accomplishment to me and I am satisfied with the arrangement. It's interesting because you think you're going to remember all the clever things they say and do, but in reality you don't. It's a sad day when a mother comes to this realization!

When I created this document, that I've slowly added onto over the years, blogs weren't popular yet (it was 2004). If I were to start this now, I would consider creating a private blog where my husband and I were the sole authors, and then record the sayings directly onto the blog. This would be fun as it would allow images to be added and for posts to be created remotely. But if you are an excellent journal writer, I'd recommend writing these down in a book of some sort, as the handwritten aspect would be such a treasure to your child.

I think the key to all this is writing things down immediately. If you are in the car, pull over and jot the saying on a stray piece of paper or an old receipt hanging out in your purse. Or, if you have an iPhone, download the Dragon Dictation app, which will allow you to record a special moment with your voice, and then have it sent to you via text or email. In my mind, I envision finding solace in re-reading all of these endearing moments someday when I am struggling with teenagers and am desperate to remember the "good ol' days". And of course, presenting a book to my own children someday, which I imagine will be one of my favorite days as a mother.

For more simple organizing tips, begin here.

image via ancestry.com

13 comments:

Heidi Lyn said...

I love this idea! And your suggestions make it sound feasible. Thanks.

For My Little Family said...

I don't know if you remember (this is Cassandra, by the way) but I have a "Happy Book" that I use for all sorts of things, including cute things that Miss L does. It brings me pure joy to look through my little book and remember all of the funny, happy moments in my life. Great post! We all need something to remind us of the goodness in our lives.

Jessica said...

I cannot commit to a daily journal entry either so what I do is have a running gmail thread. I email myself on a regular basis (at least a few times a week) and mention the sweet things my children say and do. I also have one for my pregnancy so I can remember all the details I wish I had documented with my first pregnancy. I did learn that 100 is the thread limit for gmail but it's cool--you just start another one.

katik said...

Such a great post!

A dear friend of mine received such a book from her parents as a gift for her wedding. I vowed I'd do the same when I had my own children and started a journal for each of them as they came along.

I quickly found that I couldn't manage the daily entry and it's turned into a birthday entry memorializing their little personalities at that age. Even a little something is better than nothing, right?

I also keep a folder that is rapidly filling with funny sayings recorded on random slips of paper. We open it up and read them together on Mother's Day morning. We all love it and it's turning into a great tradition. Thanks again.

liz stanley said...

What a great idea, it's amazing how precious a small thing like that would be years later.

jdavissquared said...

this is an awesome idea. i don't have children yet, but I'd love to start this when I do!

Vela said...

I have a terrible memory, so when I found out I was pregnant two years ago, I started a blog right away. I am so grateful I did. My daughter is 15 months old now, and already I can't remember certain things. I am so grateful that I have it all written down. It is her baby book. I hope to find a way to make it into an actual book. Is that possible?

Stephanie said...

Oh yes Vela, it is possible. Try googling a few things and I bet you'll come with a handful of possibilities. I believe a good place to start is Blurb :)

Good luck!

a pina colada said...

I have a book for each of my children so that I can do just this very thing...the problem is that I forget to sit down and write things out. So, every now and then I attempt to do a "top 10" in their book, in addition to their cute sayings. Their top 10 changes so often but it is fun keeping track of their faves during that phase in their lives. Fave shows, music, sayings, friends, foods, colors, toys, hobbies, etc.
I just need to be BETTER about the consistency thing.

TN said...

Great idea Stephanie! I am going to start this ;-)

AmberLee said...

love this, Stephanie, and have started. i've always journaled, but I love the idea of speaking right to each child. when we read over old journals, that's the stuff they love best. thank you!

Nancey said...

I've got post-its and scraps of paper of things my kids say that I'd find in drawers or stuff into their baby books for later consolidation. I finally decided to start a page on my blog and not yet publish it, and include dates and photos.

Elaina said...

Stephanie, if you aren't up for creating a whole private blog (especially with your new baby's imminent arrival!), I would love for you to try out a site my husband and I created to record the wonderful things our kids say and do. The URL is www.kidlee.com. If you like, you can invite family and friends to receive weekly updates with all your entries. My parents and in-laws absolutely love being included.

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