memory keepsakes for your kids

A few nights ago I posted this photo of Percy on instagram and added the following caption:

“He’s 18months old and I don’t know where that time went. But I do know that I have savoured every minute.”

I have savoured the moments…even when there was a long, long list of other things – and people – that required my attention. But I haven’t recorded anything on paper – his baby milestones are in my mind, somewhere, but have yet to be jotted down for safe keeping.

This afternoon – during the calm before the witching hour storm – I found Che (my almost-nine-year-old) sitting on my bedroom floor. He had pulled his memory box off the top shelf and was rifling through its contents; reading and remembering as he looked through school photos and birthday cards from years gone by. He was so happy to have it all and I know, in my heart, that it’s a box he’ll cherish for many years to come.

The difference between the first and third child has been profound in the memory keeping department. So much so that I’m running about six years behind on my memory keeping to-dos. The mere thought of searching through hard drives for photos, arranging them in photo books, gathering memories and collating words and phrases and funny sayings has me all-a-fluster.

But at the end of the day it’s the one thing I wish I could make time for.

I want to do it for them – so they have their childhood documented in a series of books and words that I created. So they can sit on the floor and flick through the bygone.

Right now the photos and the stories are contained in a small black hardrive and my head which is, shall we say, not the safest place for precious memories.

This post should probably be a “how-to memory keeping guide” or a gushy “walk through the photobooks I have already created”. But no, it’s more a promise to myself…a way of keeping myself accountable.

Creating memory keepsakes for the kids is the one thing that niggles at me, begging for attention.

It’s time to print the photos and jot down the words and finally, finally, organise everything into clearly labelled cardboard boxes.

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Showing 9 comments
  • Katrina

    Yep, something I have to consciously make time do to. I have found a few simple shortcuts to help along the way…three things I do are jot down funny things or milestones in the ‘notes’ on my phone, which takes the pressure off me remembering the details (my brain resembles scrambled eggs these days). Number two is as the kids bring home artwork or pieces of work I keep the ones that they love the most and which I love the most and toss the rest (sometimes I snap a photo on my phone before it hits the recycling) and number three is once a year, I make a birthday photo book. Its a really simple and cheap version usually on Photobox when there is a sale and I do a quick order of a 30 page book for each birthday each year. It isn’t classy or planned or contrived in any way…just simple and at least something is printed. The kids LOVE looking through their birthday books and although I have THOUSANDS of photos on my computer that I’d love to do something with, this is just one small thing that takes just a little of my guilt away. All the best with it, let me know what you come up with! xx

  • Emma Peters

    I’m so looking forward to getting back to memory keeping – I feel like I almost stop time when making our books – each significant moment is lovingly remembered. I pull out my three year old’s memory book as a guaranteed way to calm him if feeling a little strung out. His favourite is going through all his birthday cards from last year and asking who each one is from. One of them even plays a train sound. I really wonder how the battery hasn’t run out yet! Good luck on your mission 🙂

  • Kat

    Please, do it! Write, record, collect in analog form for Percy! I am the third and last child in my family, and have always felt sad that my memory book only contained a lock of my hair and nothing else!

  • Aimee

    I can totally relate. I felt super guilty about trying to capture the amazing moments when my baby first arrived. I’ve started a shared iPhoto album on my phone which documents the life of my three month old so far. I like it because family members can access it directly and I’m not putting millions of photos of him on Facebook. I can record notes about his milestones or whatever is happening in the captions. I’m finding it great because I don’t have much time to physically write things down for him at the moment but uploading a photo and caption is nice and easy and can be done while breastfeeding. The grandparents are stoked because they’re getting regular updates coming through via notifications. It can be accessed via a web address for those that don’t have Apple products. It’s also stored in the cloud so no worries about ever losing it. I post in high resolution too. Added bonus – storage for shared albums in iCloud is free for some reason! Just thought I’d share as I had no idea you could do this on an iPhone till I started looking at alternatives to posting albums on Facebook 🙂

  • Lizzie

    Hi Jodi! I love your blog and though I am not a parent yet, I love reading your beautiful words about that journey. I wanted to leave a little note here, and I hope it will not sound too dramatic. But, I lost my mother when I was 5 years old and sadly, I have few memories of her because I was so young (my sister, who was older has more). So, I cherish the pages that she wrote in a memory book about when I was a baby. I honestly can not convey how much seeing her handwriting on the pages and knowing that we had an intimate mother and child bond at one time means to me. Just another perspective on what these memory boxes could mean to your children, one day in the hopefully far future. <3

  • Eliza

    I felt the same way for years. Then I remembered the saying along the lines of perfect is the enemy of done. So i keep a scrapbook type thing in their rooms and every now and then when I’m putting them to bed I’ll jot down a few things. Not necessarily milestones, but things like what park we went to that day, the pj’s they are wearing, their favourite tv show. It’s still fun reading down the track and remembering the little things.

  • Lucy

    I’m in the same boat and it’s only going to get busier for our family! Just thought I’d mention to never underestimate the effect of oral memory keeping/story telling. My two boys adore their grandparents telling stories of what they were like as babies and what my husband and I were like as children. I may be behind on memory keeping photo wise but so often I can sit them on my lap or when they’re going to bed, recount a memory of when they were younger and I love how it resonates with them and they often recall it much later on. Oral histories and story telling is such a central part of many indigenous cultures and a valid form of memory keeping that most children love. I’ve started a tradition of recounting the story of their birth every birthday to my boys which they beg me to tell them about (esp.the bit where as soon as my son was birthed he weed all over the dr!)

  • Brandi

    This is inspiring me to get on this task today. A couple times a year I try to work on family photo albums, but I am very inspired to work through the big bins of various preschool projects and odd cards that are residing under their beds and put something more thoughtful (and less space consuming) together. Best of luck to you!

  • Maree

    Me too!!! I think I’m 4 years behind on my task, I had a plan to catch up before the end of the year but as it fast approaches I am feeling the fluster! I know how much it will mean to them yet here it is unfinished and niggling at my mind!

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