Today is Mother’s Day. It is also Punga’s first birthday.
Right here–today–right now is the post where I am most tempted to blabber on and on about my kid.
But I promised I would always have a point when I write.
Okay–pay attention because my point is coming up very quickly. And it will pass quickly too.
Here it is: If you decided (for many good reasons, as I did) not to start or maintain a baby book, it is not too late to quickly, easily and beautifully document your child’s first years.
And here is my suggestion: Once a year, grab a pen and make a stream-of-consciousness list of every detail you remember from your child’s most recent year. Forget about the milestones–who cares when his belly button fell off? Write about your child’s experiences. What did he enjoy / smell like / sound like / dislike?
If a messy list is all you have time for, that’s perfect! Or, assemble that list into a letter to your child. If you’re feeling particularly ambitious, combine the letter with digital photos and print a photo book.
Here are excerpts from the letter I just wrote to my son. (See how I just gave myself permission to babble? Brace yourselves!)
Happy Birthday, my Little Love! Today marks a very special day. It is the day you were born. The day all of our lives were blessed forever.
[Mushy, fluffy paragraph omitted for the sake of my blog readers…]
For your first birthday, I want to share with you some of our beautiful memories from your first year.
[Excerpt from pregnancy.]
Mommy and Daddy had so much fun watching you grow in Mommy’s belly. Daddy took pictures of Mommy’s belly every Monday, and every Monday, Mommy wore a different hat, as a celebration.
Daddy referred to us as “Momma and Boy!!,” and he even stopped eating the foods that we couldn’t eat, to make it easier for Mommy. He kissed Mommy’s belly and talked to you so that you would know how much he loves you. And you always responded to his voice. You kicked and kicked and we could not only feel you, but we could also watch you kick. Daddy called this your “flying fists of Judah.”
[Excerpt from our first days at home.]
At 3 am that night, our first night home, you did an explosive BM all over Daddy. You and Daddy made Mommy laugh very hard. Thank you for always reminding me to smile, even in the middle of the night!
…Mommy and Daddy quickly learned how to bounce bounce bounce to make your belly feel better. And you instantly stopped crying whenever we stepped outside. You liked to stick your nose in the air and, blinking, feel the breeze on your face. You spit up often. Again, you reminded us how strong you are. You smiled to tell us, “I’m okay!”
[Excerpts from infanthood]
In your “shaky chair,” you waved your arms and kicked your legs to make yourself bounce. We called this the “Kick and Punch Show.” You also liked “Bongo Drums,” when we would lay you on a pillow on the counter and pat your bum.
When Daddy came home from work, he would fly you around like a jet plane, and this made you laugh. He puts you on his shoulders where he can listen to your heart beat. Sometimes you lick his head and that makes all three of us laugh. For Halloween, you were a lion.
On Christmas Eve, you started to crawl! Now you crawl everywhere, and you pull yourself up on our couches, our tables, our walls, even our pants. You are very curious to learn as much as you can. Sometimes you are so curious that you lick the floor or the walls. Never lose your appetite for learning, my Love!
[Excerpts from pre-toddlerhood]
You now say the words, “Momma,” “Dadda,” “Dog,” “Down,” “Duck,” “Light,” and “Bunny.” We are so proud of you! Your voice is music to my ears. It is kind of squeaky, but surprisingly masculine. You are always enthusiastic when you speak, and your eyes light up and sometimes you make funny faces too.
You are learning to use a spoon by yourself. You bring your shoulder to your ear when you feel shy, and you wave enthusiastically with both hands when cars drive by. Sometimes you give us big, wet kisses. Usually when you kiss us you say “ahhhhhhhhh.” This tickles my soul.
Dear [Punga], please know that we will always believe in you, and that we will love you forever.
Happy 1st birthday, birthday boy.
Mommy and Daddy
Did you keep a baby book?
Do you have any suggestions for great, easy ways to preserve memories?
I love to hear from you!