I admit it. I’m a pack rat, clutterer, hoarder and whatever tag you choose to use. Most of the time,( I also admit) this habit is rather annoying, with stacks of papers I can’t bear to part with cluttering my office. But when it comes to my family, whether it’s a scrap of paper my daughter wrote “I love you, Mom” for the first time or a program keepsake from the other daughter’s first play, saving every little memory is a priceless family tradition.
Baby Book aka Scrapbooking
Everyone knows what a baby book is, right? Young mothers would write their thoughts, glue in pictures of their babies’ achievements from first tooth to first date. It’s like scrapbooking of today, but not as fancy. Take for instance when my granddaughter had her first day of school. I didn’t have to rely on my memory on her mother’s (my oldest daughter) first day of school. It was documented right there in my own handwriting with a picture or two clipped beside it. That’s the baby book.
But as my daughters grew and their achievements continued I found the Baby Book limiting. The little pink book only had so many pages, so many lines and so many spots to add pictures. What about the first book my daughter wrote? I can’t hardly stick that 10-page creation in the Baby Book, now can I?
The Baby Box
So that’s when I created “The Baby Box.” It’s a simple concept. I had just purchased a pair of boots, and the empty box was big enough. It’s not even decorated, except for my daughter’s name in bold, black marker across the top. Inside I’ve jammed my daughter’s entire life, from newborn to marriage. It’s a lot of memories, and I love digging in and savoring those moments that pass parents by so quickly.
My mother had something similar as we were growing up. She kept all her pictures in a big grey lock box – and she still does. You can be sure when we visit, she’ll pull the metal box out and we’ll take a look at the memories in photographs from when Mom was a kid. Then we’ll move forward to my childhood, my daughters, and I’m sure Mom’s great grandchildren will find a place in the memory box.
Memory keepers for Grandmom (and Mom)
My daughter has already created “The Baby Box” for my granddaughter and grandson, and so the tradition continues. Just as my mother did, when my daughter gives me a photo of my granddaughter’s kindergarten picture, I will dig through her Baby Box and pull out her kindergarten photo. I’ll sit down with my granddaughter, and I’ll tell her stories about her Mom. But it won’t just be stories, it’ll be pictures too.
I recently read an article on Grandparents.com about a grandmother who is the keeper of “The Grandma Files.” Same concept, but Grandma also is the keeper of memories for her grandchildren.
What does your child’s “Baby Book” look like? Do you keep one for your grandchildren? What do you include in the Baby Book? What do you exclude? How often do you dig in and relive the memories? I’d love to hear your stories — please share them below.