When I was growing up, my father did a great job at making sure that my brother and I were properly documented. My parents have thousands of photos and hundreds of videotapes of our little family from the time that I was born until now.
As a parent myself, I want to have those things for my children as well, but it seems a lot harder for some reason. It should actually be easier since I have a camera and video recorder on me at all times (my phone). If taking pictures and video may seem hard for you, here are a few creative ways my wife and I have been recording our children’s history.
Keep a Journal
Having a passion for writing, I have kept a journal since the time I was 12-years-old. The day my first child was born, I wanted to give him something that he could tell I put energy and love into; something he could treasure for the rest of his life. I wanted it to be something that would be priceless and inspiring for him. The day he was born, I immediately knew what I wanted to give my son. I was going to keep a journal for him from the day he was born, until the day he graduates. That way, he could read my exact thoughts and feelings as he progressed through certain milestones in his life. When I started, I thought that this would be quite the undertaking, and it has been. However, when I read through the pages I have written for both of my boys, it rekindles the joy I felt at each point in their lives.
This is my wife’s version of keeping a journal for our children. She feels that her handwriting is terrible, but wanted to have the same connection with our children, so she chose to email them. She set up email accounts for them and writes to them as they progress in life. She not only shares her thoughts and feelings, but also adds photos to accompany her beautiful words. This is particularly awesome because not only does she get to share their feelings with them, we have a back up record of the photos we have taken.
If you’re not into writing, perhaps a video blog would be better. My brother-in-law and sister-in-law have been doing this for their son. They create videos that talk about what he’s doing, and even have him star in his own video (he’s one so he doesn’t know what’s happening).
I feel that these are a few special ways that you can preserve memories for yourself and your children. Going back to my parents example of having a copious amount of photo and video evidence is good, but it can get hard for them to recall what was going on at the time. With words to go along with the pictures, you’re creating memories and gifts that will last.