When my daughter was three weeks old, I purchased a simple journal. I had in mind that I would use it to write down stories that I wanted to be able to remember as the years passed. One of those stories was a detailed story of her birth and the first weeks of her life and what it was like to become a mother. I knew if I didn’t document it, I would surely forget more and more details as the years passed, only to think back one day and realize the whole story of her birth was a little fuzzy. That wasn’t something I willing to let happen.
Now, a few years later, I still write in this journal, and I write directly to my daughter, letter-style. I tell her from my point-of-view all the important memories (her first pet, breaking her foot, Christmas) and the not so important but still precious memories.
For me, the difference between documenting my child’s life this way is that it keeps it personal and private (case in point – I couldn’t even bring myself to photograph an actual written page from her journal, so I opened it to a blank page). There are things that I don’t necessarily want to tell the world, you know? There are things that I want to say to my daughter that are just for her journal and no one else. The journal is also in my handwriting, making it much more personal than typed words.
Pictures are wonderful in so many ways, and a lot of people document their children’s lives with hundreds if not thousands of photographs. But a photograph will never remind you of the endearing things your child said, or innocent questions asked, or personal stories you want to remember. Even if your child is already several years old, a journal is a unique keepsake to start at any time. I’m not exactly sure when I will give the journal to my daughter, but if she has one, perhaps on her wedding day.
What special keepsakes do you have for your child(ren)?