Don’t Blink: Easy Journaling Through Your Children’s Lives

Don’t blink…as moms, we’re no stranger to this message. Our parents and friends advise us to enjoy every minute of our children’s seemingly sloth-like development because it goes “so fast.” Kenny Chesney reminds us not to blink or we just might miss our babies growing like his did (because when you think of authorities on child-rearing, doesn’t Kenny Chesney immediately jump to mind?), and Trace Adkins warns that “you’re gonna miss this, you’re gonna want this back.”

Despite such sage advice, chances are there may be some moments in your day today that you would never want back – ever.  But on most days, there are probably many more that you wish you could lock down in your long-term memory. In fact, there may be some moments so hilarious or heart-wrenching that you are confident they have etched permanent grooves in your temporal lobe thus rendering them impossible to forget. Perhaps your toddler has recently become prone to putting a colander on his head and sparring with a paper towel roll. Or maybe your budding soccer player recently scored her first goal and yours was the face her jubilant eyes scanned the crowd to find. Surely these are moments you could never forget…right?

I have admittedly limited experience in the parental department, but even in my two short years on the job, I have already had lapses in memory that I would have considered inconceivable months earlier. My daughter, for example, used to scrunch up her face and make quite a production out of breathing…usually as she was launching baby food out of both nostrils. She did this so often and with such gusto that I naively but honestly believed I would never be able to think of her without simultaneously conjuring up this image. Well, guess what? I completely forgot about what we had affectionately termed the “popeye face” until recently when my brother asked when she stopped doing that little trick. This was a real wake up call for me. If I had forgotten about popeye face, what other precious moments were lost in the dark recesses of my mommy mush brain?

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I recognized immediately that this was no time for complacency…this was a call to action! I needed to find a way to document the glorious (and gruesome) moments of my day so they could be recorded for posterity. Why? I’m not actually sure why, but that’s beside the point. The urge is real!

 

Some of you undoubtedly have this memory-capturing situation under control. Perhaps you delight in reliving your children’s antics via a blog. I am particularly impressed with (read: insanely envious of) you as I can’t fathom how you conjure up the discipline and time to post on more than a semi-annual basis. Maybe you are in the habit of whipping out your phone to broadcast your kids’ hilarious commentary on Facebook or snapping pictures of hijinks in action to amuse on Instagram. Or could it be that you are among the most mystical of moms and have artfully displayed your recent photographs throughout your home on gallery wrapped canvas prints…or worse, in diligently organized annual albums.

 

I aspire to be all of you but sadly am none. I have dreamed about starting a blog and achieving acclaim across the blogosphere, but I have historically prioritized sleep and doing the dishes over pursuing this goal. I have a Facebook account, but it sits largely dormant so I have never attempted to dip my toes into the waters of Instagram or Twitter. I have many thousands of pictures of my little ones safely stored away on my computer, but they’re clearly not bringing joy to anyone hidden behind the perennially closed screen of my laptop.

 

You can well imagine my delight, then, when like a Phoenix rising from the ashes, the very answer to my posterity problem recently leapt out and smacked me upside the head in the calendar aisle of the grande dame of megastores, Target. It was an idea so simple yet so profound: a five year journal for moms. Each page represents a day of the year, and you have a mere five lines – five relatively narrow lines, people – on which to sum up the highlight (or lowlight) of your day. There are five sets of these five-line days on each page representing five different years. Are you with me? Assuming you are faithful to the project, when you are finished, you will have encapsulated the most significant daily occurrences of five years in one handy hardback tome.

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I bought the diary in early November and considered waiting until January 1 to start, but I quickly recognized the notion for the thinly veiled procrastination that it was and instead jumped right in. So far, my daily entries have been largely defined by something clever my daughter said, a developmental milestone my son reached, or an activity that deviated from our norm. I love that I have a dedicated space in which to capture these little gems and but I love even more that said space is small enough that the thought of turning to it at the end of each day is not intimidating to me. (In the interest of full disclosure, there have been nights when I couldn’t bring myself to do one.more.thing before hopping into bed, but I mentally determine what I will jot down the next morning. That’s not really cheating, right?)

I’m hopeful this book will serve as training wheels that will catapult me into a life of structure and regimen thus empowering me to organize my pictures and dominate social media in its many iterations. But if nothing else, I hope that I can someday look back at this little book – filled with five years worth of daily blessings – and vividly remember these days, days that I’m pretty sure I’m going to miss.

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3 Responses to Don’t Blink: Easy Journaling Through Your Children’s Lives

  1. Alvina Castro January 3, 2014 at 12:04 am #

    How sweet! I am a serious scrapbooker when it comes to my kiddo. i journaled every day (pages) for over 10 years while in school. then after college i didnt write a word for years. Now with my kiddo Im getting back in the habit. I think that journal you bought sounds fun! Especially as the years go by and it gets more full. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  2. Shana January 2, 2014 at 10:07 pm #

    I love this idea and your suggestion too, Amy. Thanks!

  3. Amy
    Amy January 2, 2014 at 8:33 am #

    I love the idea. I have a hard time remembering as well. A good idea I saw on – you guessed it – pinterest, is to start a little email account for your child so you can send them little notes and pictures as they grow. When they reach a certain age, you can give them the password and they have this whole email account filled with notes and pictures ALL about them!