With the school year now officially over, cleaning out cubbies has inspired me to do something that has been on my “To Do” List for WAY too long! It’s time to brush off the baby books and document important things like first steps, school pictures, etc.
I was going to be one of those parents who documented everything. It started with a fancy new camcorder when Drew was born. A nice DSLR was added to the mix once Gabby came into the picture. Now I have a wonderful IPhone 4S to encourage even more documentation. The problem is that who has time to organize it all.
Someday when my kids want to see pictures of themselves as babies or videos of important milestones, I’m going to hand them vintage laptops. It’s not because we aren’t well intentioned. We set up Apple TV for ease of viewing all of these things “safely” stored on our desktops. We have even uploaded onto websites for back up purposes. Yet years are going by and I’m not really sure what anything is or the best way to take the walk down memory lane.
And really why have we made such an effort to chronicle these things. When I watch them, I’m wrecked with sadness over missing those babies. Of course my babies are only almost 2 and 4, how much different could they possibly be from these videos and pictures? But seeing Drew say “pen peeeeeeeeeeeease” (translation: open please) makes me incredibly nostalgic for that itty bitty guy.
So much of our time together has been wrecked with survival skills – managing two small kids, trying to handle behavioral issues, or just handling the logistics of it all. The only time I am left to just enjoy the age at which they are currently at is when I’m reveling in these old photos and videos. And all I can seem to do while looking at them is be sad. Is it possible to appreciate them and solely live in the now?
If you are living in the now, how important is it really in documenting these days? Especially if someday it will truly be too painful to look back on it all. Maybe the best I can do is to work to preserve all these memories, both physical and mental memories, and leave them in a positive place? That sounds like an easy feat…
My mom has always said to me that she loves the me I am now, but she misses the baby I once was. Now that I’m a parent, I totally get that. As much as each age and each milestone marks some independence for me as the overwhelmed parent, I’m sure the more independent they become the harder it also becomes to let go. When they are ultimately (G-d willing) completely independent I will be left with nothing physical but my baby books, photos and videos. And that in and of itself is depressing.
I’m going to make it my mission to work hard on documenting everything mentally because that’s a place I’m going to want to revisit even as painful as it may be. In regards to the pictures, videos and neglected baby books, I guess I’ll work towards completing them for nothing more than Bar/Bat Mitzvah/Wedding embarrassment. And hopefully one day I can look back on it all and celebrate who they are, where they’ve come from and how happy I am with the people they’ve become…that is if I can find them on some electronic device!