Last month I wrote about keeping our children’s artwork.
It’s so hard to pick what to keep, but that’s why we have to let them give input. Their artwork, after all, is a gift to us. They might not have the words to express how they see us or what we mean to them. So they’ll take crayon to paper to draw us at the park or the beach. They’re telling us that those moments are what they hold dear.
Let’s take a hint and do the same for them. Let’s leave them something – words, pictures or both to show them what moments we hold dear.
When my husband and I chose to try IVF to start our family, I knew that I wanted to remember each moment. I bought a journal and started writing. I’d always loved to journal, but this one wasn’t for me. I wrote letters and told our future child/children about what the steps where that we took to meet them. I wrote to them about my worries for a healthy pregnancy, the struggle of finding clothes that fit, our tough stroller buying choices, and how full my heart was.
When they were born I was simply too exhausted to write, and my laptop was more convenient. I started a document there that was meant for one thing – to tell their birth story.
Four and a half years later and that document has turned into something I never dreamt of. I’ve poured my heart out and sometimes my hands have struggled to keep up. They will find stories of first steps, potty training dilemmas and their first days of preschool. Those are the things that one figures they’d find in a journal to their children.
But then I wrote about the bad days, the sleepless nights, the post partum depression and my self doubt. I’ve been frank and it hasn’t always been pretty. I told them about being a young college student on September 11th and the impact of each presidential election. I didn’t see myself writing about that, but I think it matters. One day when they read it, all I hope that they get is a better understanding of who their family is and why they’ve had the experiences that they’ve had.
You don’t have to keep a daily log of your lives, I have even skipped months in between entries.
You can stick with detailing those milestones/firsts or maybe just write a little something to your babies on their birthday’s. There are many journals and prompted letters on Amazon for those who might get writers block.
What are some other gifts that we can pass on to our children?