When you are a parent, time is fleeting. In an instant, everything has changed and you wonder where the time has gone. When your kids grow up, what will they think of you? How will your relationship be? Though there is no guarantee about how your relationship will be, you can make sure they know how you’ve felt about them every step of the way. This past while I’ve been able to bond with my sister about parenthood. It’s really been a treasure to have someone to talk to about it. On one of our walks, she told me about something she’s been doing for her daughter. Now, I’ve had a similar idea, but hadn’t actually gotten around to it until talking with her. She created an email for her baby. Every once in awhile, when the mood strikes or a silly moment happens, she emails it to her. Things that maybe my sister won’t remember in 10, 15, 20 years. It’s a very special sort of memory log. The beautiful thing about this idea is that there are countless ways you could do it.
Recently, my friend gave me a beautiful leatherbound journal. I am the type to get intimidated by beautiful things, not wanting to ruin them. I had no idea what I could use it for. My friend suggested I use it for story ideas or cute things that Cog does, and while writing down cute things that Cog does was a neat idea I was still intimidated. I held off. My sister helped me gather the courage to write in it. If it’s full of memories, it doesn’t matter if my writing is ugly, or I don’t think it’s flawless; it will be a cherished treasure for my child. It will be important to her. I’m the type who isn’t really great at anything. I am good at a lot of things, though; I’m good at writing, I’m good at poetry, I’m good at art. These are things that I love. These are things won’t mean anything to the world, but they can mean something to my daughter. I can give her the gift of seeing how I see her, and I can show her with my writing, my poetry and my art.
The relationship experienced between a parent to their child is vastly different than the relationship experienced from the child to their parent. Both loves are very strong, but I know I’d never experienced a love like this until I had Cog. It makes me view my mom in a whole new light. But who’s to say if your kid will have kids of their own, if they don’t, they might not ever know just how you experience your love for them. Making a memory log could let your child see how you’ve seen them their whole life, as they’ve grown.
In any case, there are various ways that you can do this!
You can start an email memory log just like my sister did! One of the bonuses of this is you can reserve an email with their name so that they don’t have to have NameLastname27658@email.com. You can organize it by folders, and by years. If you go this route, be sure to check it regularly for spam, and to make sure it isn’t hacked. After all, it would be awful to present this to your grown-up child with a whole bunch of ads for penis enlargements. Try your best to keep it organized. Also, after digging around the net to see other people who are doing this, over at Rookie Moms they wrote a post on why it’s better to wait until they are older. Another bonus of going this route is that other people can join in too; grandparents, aunts and uncles can send memorable moments to your child too. Ramp up the awesome by attaching photos relevant to your emails.
This way is a bit more traditional, I suppose. Definitely a good way to use beautiful journals you’ve been hanging on to. I’m using my journal memory log for poetry, art, and stories about my daughter and the way she makes me feel, or the sweet things she does. There’s something to be said for a memento that you can hold in your hands. Maybe that’s just me, but it’s like how many would rather read books than e-readers. Perhaps it’s the romantic idea of my daughter sitting in an alcove with the rain pattering against the window while reading a custom, handwritten book just for her that appeals to me. In a journal you can add in printed out photos, pressed leaves or flowers, or other small glimpses into a moment past.
Another neat way to make a memory log is by using cards. My husband actually did something similar to this when we celebrated our first wedding anniversary. Buy (or make) cards for every holiday or special event. Write sweet notes about what happened that day, and what was wonderful about it. Then place each card in an envelope with the date and the event (if an event happens, if it’s a ‘just because’ one, simply use a blank card). When my husband did this for me, it wasn’t done like it will be for anyone making this for their kids, he did this in the weeks approaching our anniversary. He had actually drawn a picture on every envelope to say which event it was about.
This way gets to be a bit more of a surprise. In a jar or box, write on cue cards or paper the memories you want to share. When you eventually gift this to your child, it won’t be in any particular order, and that will be the fun of it. They could be pulling something out that’s about them going through puberty, or they could pull something out that’s about the first time they used a potty. Life is like a box of chocolates when you make your memory log a jumble jar.
Are you making a memory log for your kids? How are you doing it? Or do you have grown up kids and have done something like this before? How did it go? Let us know in the comments!