Monday, February 14, 2011

Preserving Memories

As mother's many of us can get overwhelmed by how fast time flies when are kids are home.  We have all of the hopes and dreams of family vacations, and making scrapbooks, taking pictures and keeping some sort of record of what our lives were like with our kids at home.  A lot of times our children may not appreciate these things now but they will when they are our age.  I know love looking back at old photographs or reading old notes and letters.  I fully intended on having beautifully crafted scrapbooks for each of my children but man are hey time consuming and will be lucky if I have one finished for each of them by the time they graduate.  I also have noticed that my picture taking as decreased over the years hence the reason why it seems in a lot of families there are tons of pictures of the first child and those numbers seem to dwindle by the time you get to the third or fourth.

The one thing I am now so glad I did was at least start a journal for each of them when they were born.  I started with the day they were born and write in them when I think of it.  I kept details of how much they weighed and how tall they were at each well-child care visit, when they started to crawl or walk, when they got their first tooth.  Now I keep track of who their friends are, what their interests are and what their favorite toys are. I know someday they will love to read these books.

I never had much interest in family history until I was married with children.  Now I love looking through old genealogy charts, that show Who Do You Think You Are? is pretty interesting.  When my grandparents decided to downsize and move to a smaller home they had to clean out their house and have a sale.  My grandmother gave each of us grand kids a large manila envelope filled with letters, pictures and art projects we had made for her.  I was so surprised she had kept those things after all of those years.  I was probably around 30 years old or so when she gave me that envelope and now at 33 my parents are moving to a new town so they are cleaning out their home and my mother brought me a whole bunch of papers she had kept of mine while I was growing up.  It was so great to look through all of my old report cards from elementary.  I realized I was not as good of a reader as I thought I was during that time.  I got to see old class lists and class composites of my elementary classmates.  She kept some of my most interesting art projects and the one possession I've talked to friends about over the years but was sure I had thrown away.  When I was five years old I had a huge crush on Michael Jackson and so I made him a book.  I made the book out of purple construction paper that I had cut to make small pages.  I taped the book, which I did put together backwards, I included stickers and drawings I did with markers.  I drew a picture of Micheal and I hugging, one of us holding hands and one of us picking flowers.  I did use one crayon though, a white one and that was for his socks.  I put the book in a white envelope because I thought I was going to mail it to him some day.  One day while my mom was helping me pack up my room because we were moving to a new town she found the envelope in my dresser and saw the book.  I was mortified and so I thought for sure that in my embarrassment I threw the book away, yet here it was in a pile of things my mom had brought me.

It's really funny the things we remember about our childhoods and so I often wonder what my kids will remember about theirs.  I'm trying to take pictures more often and to write in their journals more. I do hope to at least have one decent scrapbook ready for each them at high school graduation and  I also have a large Rubbermaid container in my utility room that I've kept all of their special art projects, newspaper clippings, old report cards and notes in.  Some day I know they'll enjoy rummaging through that stuff.

Memory is a child walking along a seashore.  You never can tell what small pebble it will pick up and store away among its treasured things.  ~Pierce Harris, Atlanta Journal

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