March 24, 2015

On being the memory keeper

I've always been the type of person that has felt bittersweet about the passing of time.  Having kids has only made that worse.  I've tried so hard to be intentional about the days I have with my boys because I know that they will be gone before I know it.  There have been times when I have done nothing but watch (and stare) because I want to impress the memory deep inside of my brain so that I won't ever forget.  One day when my oldest was an infant I was worried and upset about how fast his little life was moving and that I wasn't going to remember it all.  Despite my husbands best attempts at comfort I was becoming quite emotional and I blurted out, 'But it's my job to be the memory keeper!'.  He looked at me like I was crazy and continued with his soothing words.  But the reality is that I am a mother and I do believe that a big part of my job is to remember.  I think that there is such value in the oral histories that we pass down to our children and instilling them with roots of belonging.  A big part of that, I believe, is telling them their stories.

I know I won't remember everything, and that's ok.  I do my best to record the big things obviously, but also the day to day little stuff.  One of the things I use a lot is the Mom's One Line a Day journal.  I got it a few months after having Davis and I've loved having that brief space to record. I have a lot of grace with myself about doing it each day and there are times when I don't update it regularly.  But one of the things that I LOVE LOVE LOVE about it is now that it is filling up (I only have 1 year left on some of the dates, crazy) is looking back and seeing what we were doing on that day in the years prior.  It's like the manual version of time hop.  :)  
1 day I've managed to write on each day for the past 4 years in my One Line a Day Journal
Mom's One Line a Day 5 Year Memory Book
I'm a photographer by trade which means that I have thousands of amazing photos of my kids, thank you Sarah, and equal amounts of iphone photos as well.  I hate the idea of those photos just being on a computer or link somewhere.  So I also keep scrapbooks (I've switched over to the project life system because it's easy enough I can keep up with it.)  Both of my boys have a small box under their bed with some keepsakes from the hospital, letters that we wrote to them before they were born, and other special mementos.  I want my boys to know that they were wanted and valued since before they were born.  I think one of the biggest gifts we can give our children is knowing that they belong.  I have a lot of thoughts on that subject but I'm not sure that they are coherent enough to pull into a blog post, or really relevant enough for anyone other than me to care about. 

 It is definitely something I do to myself but does anyone else feel this pressure to remember it all?  Do you keep journals, scrapbooks, or something else?

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