• 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