Tell Your Kids Their Story
These days, things are changing rapidly in the world of Benedict. He's getting pretty good a mimicking, a few new words come out of his mouth weekly, and he's dangerously close to figuring out how to walk-any day now he'll start running around the house.
The mind of a child is astonishing. The rate at which they process the world around them and start to understand things is nothing short of mind-blowing. I watch Benedict's eyes as he gazes on the world around him and I just think about what's going through his mind. Colors, shapes, things that I've gotten so used to that I hardly notice are completely new to him. The world is a wide open place for him right now and he's soaking it up like a sponge.
While he's certainly learning a lot, his memory is a different story. He'll have a tough time recalling his emotions, feelings, and the events of his early life when he's older. We all tend to have a bit of a romantic spot in our hearts for childhood stories. These stories convey events in our lives that we were a part of, but can't recall on our own. Our first words, our first trip to the Emergency Room, heck, even the stories surrounding our entrance into the world are cherished.
We love to see baby pictures, we're all dying to know what we were like, and if we're honest, we can't get enough of heart-warming stories from our development.
With this knowledge comes tremendous pressure on parents. We want to record, capture, and remember all of these stories, but it's just way too much. The speed of life events, the busyness of our already hectic schedule, and the pure daily exhaustion that comes with caring for a child completely dependent on you makes it hard to scribble down some thoughts or spend time arranging these many memories.
I feel it, too. You start to feel a little guilty for letting things fall through the cracks. I can only imagine how parents of multiple kids feel! Sure, you did a good job with the first, but the second, third, fourth? Yikes!
I've decided that it's best to try to capture the major milestones, but to not worry about the day-to-day. Benedict will do cute, new, fun, and amazing things every day and many of those memories will just have to be tucked away in my own treasure chest of memories. I'll share them with him when the time comes, but it's ok if he doesn't have an all-access pass to them.
Thankfully in the digital age, it's getting easier to capture these life events. Cameras with unlimited photo taking capabilities allow you to take pictures indiscriminately, whereas before you only had so many chances. HD video capture capabilities on your phone allow you to preserve and instantly share those wonderful little moments. Computer-Based diary programs, such as Day One (Mac/iOS) make it easy to write notes and give some back-story, without the fear that fire, flood, or forgetfulness will cause your hard work, and those precious details, to be lost forever.
Telling your kids their story is an important and fun way to help them learn about who they are. Take the time to preserve those milestones so they can treasure them long after you're gone.