A few months ago, I purchased a wedding gift for my brother and his fiancé. It was a small, leatherbound book filled with blank pages. The purpose of this book was for them, as a couple, to write one line each day documenting their first year of marriage. There are no rules on what that line says: it could be mundane everyday stuff like how they enjoyed coffee in the morning while watching the rain fall, or maybe how they had their first fight as a married couple. The goal is simply to find something memorable about each day, and take the time to document it. Imagine how special that would be, decades later, to look back on that first year, and have those tangible reminders of everything from the small everyday moments to the big stuff.
This seems even more valuable to me as I get older.
I have noticed lately that I’m starting to forget things. Information that I’ve always known, such as the word I misspelled in the 5th grade spelling bee causing me to lose the first place spot, is no longer available to me. I’ve known that word my entire life, but now, strangely, it is gone.
I have a few theories on what has caused this gradual amnesia. Maybe it is the obvious stress from working a demanding full-time job and raising two small children. Or maybe it is related to the past two years and the pandemic in some way? It seems that everything in my life and my brain, and apparently my very being, was reset during that time. Of course, for me, that timeframe also marked turning 40 AND having a second child. So there’s that.
I guess it doesn’t really matter what is causing me to forget things I have always known. At this point, I am just focused on salvaging what is left of my memory, and trying my best to be present to the moment and make new memories as I watch my kids grow up.
So when I saw that book for my brother, I knew immediately that I wanted to do the same thing in my everyday life with my kids. I absolutely love being a mom to small children. My son is almost five, my daughter is 1.5, and they both do the most hilarious and precious and sometimes ridiculous things. My husband and I are constantly cracking up at the spectacle of it all. When these things happen, I think to myself that there is no way I won’t remember them forever. But life has proven otherwise. Time goes on, and memories fade as they are replaced with new information demanding space in my brain. And before you know it, a stage is gone, that sweet chirping infant doesn’t even exist anymore, that child grows up, and you can never go back to that sweet place.
I’m not willing to lose all that, so I’ve started recording moments every day.
By doing this, I’ve ensured that I will never forget the time Lukas declared he was not going to drive a firetruck when he grows up, he will instead be driving a fire VAN. Or how he told me after I told him I loved him a million-trillion that he loved me infiniti. I’ll always remember that rainy day when I walked into Laney’s daycare classroom and saw her taking her first steps. And how helpless and out of control I felt when both kids were home for weeks with Covid. I’ll remember how Laney bites her Minnie Mouse doll’s nose when she’s sleepy, and how she hugs and kisses her baby dolls and brushes their hair. I’ll remember those lazy Saturday mornings with the whole family piled into the bed. Or how Lukas calls a car dealership a fellowship hall, and how he promised to build an entire neighborhood when he grows up and let me live next door to him in my own eight-layer house.