Saturday, August 23, 2008

A Written Remembering

When we go camping, late at night, when we are all bedded down in the tent trailer, my kids ask if I will tell them a story. Sometimes I tell them a condensed version of a book I've read. As anyone who went to school with me can attest too, I don't know the meaning of "condensed"....every part of the book is important to understand the whole story! Other times they ask for stories from when they were babies.

Last time we were camping, my daughter, the youngest, asked why all the stories were about her brother as a baby. Didn't I remember anything about her? I paused and thought. Huh. That might be true. The answer I gave her was when she was a baby, she was D's shadow. Anything he was doing, she was doing. It's hard to separate a baby story of hers, from a story of her 2 year old brother.

But it is more than that. When D was born, he was our first. He was our sole focus, and we did everything with him in mind. We were living across the country from our families, so it really was just the three of us. Then we moved back home, realized we were expecting baby number two, and things in our life got fuller.

When she was born, I remember thinking this was going to go by way too fast. I knew she was the last baby we'd be having and I wanted to savor every moment. But, with a 2 year old at home waiting to meet "baby", I knew I wasn't going to get the same chance to focus on her that I did on her brother.

When D was born, my OBGYN gave me a daily journal to record the first year of D's life. I wrote in it every day, but sometimes the entries were just a line or two. I kept a journal for L's first year also, but it is full of page long entries. I knew I had so much going on, so much to do, that it was hard to find the time to just sit and marvel at her perfection, like I got to do with D. So, at night, when I could find a moment, I would write and write and write.

I might not have memories I can pull out of my head at the drop of a hat for her, but I have the journal. It is full of all the things I wanted to remember about her being a baby. Maybe I'll take it on the next camping trip, and when the kids ask for their stories, I pull out the journals, get out the flashlight and wow them with stories they might not have heard before.

Like, March 25, 1998: L looks so cute today! I wanted to give her a ponytail, but one was impossible. So she has two curly pigtails on top of her head. It is just too adorable! Went to Seattle see Aunt A;s house, L was good. She got screaming mad in the car though. Grandma K said she was glad to know L had such a strong personality! As soon as Daddy came home, her pigtails fell out. Daddy loved them and was so excited he got her all excited. Pigtails weren't meant for rough housing!

And to be fair: March 25, 1996: Boy can D move! He's not a crawler yet, but soon. He twists and turns and wiggles all over the place. He rocks forward, leaping really, and moves all over our laps when he's on the ground. Next steps are crawling and sitting up on his own.

A written remembering.....I'm so glad I took the time to write it down, for them, but mostly for me. It did go by too fast, and I love reading and remembering....those were great days....but these days 11 and 13 years later are pretty darn good too!


  1. Okay that made me sad! I also did a journal but not for each day. I just couldn't do it. But I do have their first years more or less written down. Loved the story about L.'s pigtails!

  2. The years are going by way too fast, your journals are an amazing gift to your children! Memories fade away with time, but your written rememberings will last forever. I wish you had learned that from me...