I quickly learned with my son that the cute little things that he would do would quickly vanish and then morph into something new.
When I realized that a cute little thing that he used to do had now turned into something else cute that he is doing, I realized with a heavy heart that the moments I enjoyed watching the things that he used to do were gone forever.
I am a real stickler when it comes to holding on to things.
Everything has such meaning to me!
I still have gifts, cards and pictures people had given me years ago!
My friends ask why I still hold on to such things (that most other people wouldn’t, I suppose) and I say, “Because it has so much meaning to me.”
The outfit that no longer fits me, but that my mother gave me when I was younger to wear on an interview is still hanging in my closet…
The winter coat that I wore in elementary school because it had so many memories of building snow forts with my dad and my sister…
Notes that my parents would write me and put in my school lunches to let me know that they love me and are thinking about me….
Gifts from friends that I never really ended up using or needing, but I hung onto because they gave them to me and their thoughtfulness meant that much that I wanted to hold onto them.
Now, I know what you’re thinking!
I’m not a horder!
So don’t expect to see me on one of those reality shows!
I keep a neat and tidy home (as much as I can).
All of those items are packed away in totes in the basement.
But, getting back to what I was saying….
Every little thing my children do, I long to hold on to.
Maybe some of you feel the same way.
Here are some tips in doing that.
Write It Down!
It sounds daunting and like a task that you just don’t have time for, but really, you don’t have to write much at all!
I keep a little pad of paper in my bedroom and when the kids are occupied or when i am sitting on the toilet (yes, you get it, don’t you? You use every minute that you can spare to multi-task!) just jot down the date at the top of the paper and then tell about what your child just did.
I write down milestones, funny little events that my children do and/or just the words that my son is saying and how he is saying it.
Sometimes, I will just make a list of the words that he is saying and the way that he is saying them so that when he looks back on these memories of mine twenty years from now, he will see that, on the date specified, he called mama’s hair dye “hair dial” or a computer a “pee-ah.”
I have a stack of papers this way and I keep them all in an envelope with my child’s name on it.
None of them are in any order!
At least, not right now.
But, the moments are written down.
And that’s the important part.
They are recorded somewhere.
Then, when the envelope is full of these memories and moments, I put them in a fireproof box that I have.
That way, if something happens where the house catches fire, they will be protected and the kids can look back on them if something happens to me.
Sounds like a no-brainer, but we tend to get so busy with our day-to-day life that we don’t think much about doing this unless it is someone’s birthday or family gathering.
Take pictures of even the littlest moments!
I take pictures of the special moments that I am in with my children.
I look at the moment and think, ‘this is something I never want to forget’ and then I whip out my phone, zoom in/out to try to get the right image and quickly snap!
It is so easy to do now-a-days because we have our phones with us all the time, so you don’t have to hunt down a camera!
I have taken pictures of my baby holding onto my finger and zoomed in on simply her hand and my hand together.
I am gettin’ personal here, but I have even taken pictures of my children nursing (minus the boob, of course – I didn’t want to get too explicit!) because, when I would look down at them looking up at me with those beautiful brown eyes, I just always wanted to remember that special moment!
I love action pictures – not posed!
Pictures of my son reading a book to his baby sister or letting the sand fall from the shovel when playing in the sandbox!
All of those itty bitty moments that you want to hold on to –
Just ‘snap’ and they are yours forever!
Print Your Pictures!
Listen, we live in a day and age where everything is on a technological device or floating in a cloud somewhere.
I am honestly annoyed when someone whips out their phone to show me pictures on a screen!
But hand me photos that I can tangibly hold and move a little closer to my face to see detail and such and we’re golden!
I miss those days.
There was something special about being able to hold a photo in your hand and enjoying the view this way!
A lot of young people won’t even know what I am talking about!
Opening up a photo album or even scrapbooking an album are all days of the past.
Look, if something happens to you, others may not think to try to get into your phone and retrieve pictures.
Then where will your pictures be?
Take the time to print them off so that your children have access to them.
Write the date on the back of them!
Put them into photo albums or make a scrapbook.
Because it is something tangible and more meaningful to hold onto.
You can take video of special moments on your phone, but it will take up much room on your phone.
If you can, invest in a good video camera.
I did this right before my son was born and I was hesitant in investing so much money in it.
But something told me to.
So I did.
And it was one of the best investments I ever could have made!
I have hours and hours of my son’s life and now I am accumulating hours and hours of my daughter’s!
I have the SD cards labeled and these, as well, go into the fireproof box so that they can always have these moments to look back on.
Everyone has their own perspective of a moment in time.
Your spouse may see your child’s special milestone a little differently than you may have.
Encourage others to jot down how they felt or what they witnessed in the moment!
Put both your perspective of the moment and your spouses (or other caregiver’s) in a special envelope or booklet for your child to review one day.
I promise you, it will have so much meaning to them!
Truly Hold On
When you are in the moment, take everything in.
Take in the smell of your child’s hair as you hold him close.
Listen to the sounds of the birds chirping or the washing machine running in the background.
Note the weather – is the sun shining in the windows or is it overcast?
What time of day is it?
Suck in the feeling of the moment as though you will never have this moment again!
When we take the time to just slow down – just for a moment, we can take in a whole lotta life that we would’ve otherwise missed.
God Bless Your Special Moments and Special Memories!