Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Memories in the Corner of the Page

Before I was even pregnant, I knew I would keep a journal for my baby. I didn’t want a baby book with lines that specified firsts, I wanted a blank canvass to write whatever I was feeling. When we got our first ultrasound at 10 weeks, I went ahead and bought a journal for what was going to become Wee ‘Burb.

I have been trying to write in the journal every month and during milestones. Some months have been easier than others.

When I write in it, I often think about Wee ‘Burb reading it. I imagine and hope she will pick it up after some terrible fight we have when she’s a teenager, and it will humanize me somehow — remind her that there were phases in her life when she wanted nothing more than to hug her mommy and daddy and be with us. I hope that it will show that she was created in love, nurtured in a peaceful and happy home. And then, after I wrote the post on 5 Things To Do Before Getting Married , I started thinking about what I wanted this journal to be.

I started to think about the kind of advice I wish I could have gotten. I wanted to go beyond just what she’s doing now. I started to think, not in a macabre way, about what I would want her to know if for any reason I couldn’t be there. Maybe not even be away, but just disconnected somehow. What would I want to tell her, that teenager who would never listen to her Mom, because, really how could Mom EVER understand HER plight?

So I wrote my first entry dedicated to future Wee ‘Burb. I titled it “Boys”, but now I wish I had just put “Love.” Because, you know, who knows who she will love down the road? But in the end the message I wanted to share was the same, and while I wrote a lot, here’s the summary I left her with: You do not need a man, or anyone, to complete you. When you find the right person, they will enhance you enough to realize you are already complete. And that’s how you know it’s real love.

What advice would you give your future son or daughter? Do you keep a journal for your child, or plan to? Do you focus on their life chronologically, or do you offer tidbits of advice, too?


Kristy said...

I feel like my blog is an outstanding way to keep memories. I'm so grateful that we'll always be able to look back and see what I was thinking/feeling at those times. Even the ugly. My mom says, "What if Parker reads what you wrote someday?!" I say, "He'll probably laugh!"

Married In Chicago said...

What a wonderful post! I think I'd like to tell my future children to make their happiness number one priority.

Also, I just wanted to let you know that I gave you an award on my blog today!

JDaniel4's Mom said...

Your advice is wonderful! I would tell JDaniel that we will always love him even if we don't always love his choices.

Anonymous said...

I don't have any children and none are in the plans, at least for now. However, if I were to have a child, I would tell them to dream big and to beware of people with no dreams of their own.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE this idea. I absolutely plan on keeping a journal for my someday-pups. Since I like to write, it seems like a logical choice. Just thinking about what kind of journal I would even buy though seems totally overwhelming. My Mom informs me that she kept a journal when I was tiny and she hasn't read it since. I am DYING to read it with her.

Kristen @ Motherese said...

I love your advice for your daughter.

I keep a number of different records for my kids: our private family blog, individual baby books (with extremely sporadic entries!), a notebook where I write down random memories. But I like your idea of a book with advice from Mom...maybe I'll have to start yet another notebook. :)

Amanda @ It's Blogworthy said...

That's wonderful advice! I wish I would have done this for Luke from the very beginning, although I'm sure his Mother's words won't have as much as an impact on him as yours will on Wee burb (seeing that he'll have different concerns as a teenage boy).

Anonymous said...

That's really great advice. I did the typical baby books were you record the first time they walked, etc, but not actual journaling. With my daughter (9mths) I've been better about tracking funny and silly moments that I write down about her and her brother (4y). And this year I've done letters to them on their birthdays (or for her specific age milestones, like 6 months old) I love your idea though!