Like most mothers I want to remember every little special thing that my daughters do. The first time they laughed, the first time they tasted food, their first steps, first time they said ’I love you’, their favorite toy, their first day of kindergarten… It never ends. Because with every little moment they become a little bigger, they grow. And suddenly the moment has past and you will never experience that moment again.
I used to cling on to these moments, actually being more melancholic than happy that my daughters took a new step. And I used to write every little thing down in one of those ’my first years’ books. And when I forgot to write something down I would blame myself for it. With baby number two I rather quickly let go of this duty to write every little thing down. I didn’t pull out my camera every other minute, but I looked at the little face in front of me and took in the moment. I began to keep little moments in my heart - rather than in some book I bought to capture moments of their childhood. Moments that some book dictated were important. I used to think that I was capturing those moments for them. Truth is, I bought that book for me. Because I thought the book would tell me what was important to remember.
I let those books go. They are in a drawer somewhere. I haven’t looked at them for years. I actually don’t know if any moments have gone lost. Maybe I forgot Elinors weight at three months. Maybe I forgot what the first food Olivia tasted was. Maybe I forgot which names we considered giving them while I was pregnant. It’s not important. For me, when I started letting go of capturing every single moment, their childhood began to become a whole. It’s not before and after anymore. It’s more a process where we all grow. They grow bigger and they learn and they experience. And I feel like I’m more with them in that process.
I save those little moments in my heart, and I collect the flowers they pick for me, and put them in a notebook I always carry around. They lie there in between pages of notes and tickets from the first time we took Olivia to the cinema, and the business card from the restaurant in Paris, where we had dinner the evening their father asked me to marry him. When they say something funny I tell it to our family and friends. And I write that little sentence down on a blank page in my note book and smile.
My links for pretty notebooks
6: Hay Notebook