This was a recurring voice in my head. Throughout pregnancy I needed to write, but barely did after the first trimester. Then he was born. I worried my baby boy was going to grow up and I won’t remember anything. His smell, the first time he peed on me (why do I want to remember that?), the way he played with his first finger foods, the first time in the big tub, the cute way he’d mispronounce words, his obsession with Curious George, the list goes on and on…
He’s three and a half now. I know I have a poor memory and it makes me sad to know his baby days are gone. They’re fading from my memory as are the emotions I felt then. We take plenty of photos, trust me. But it’s not the same as reading what I was feeling the first week of his life or the wishes I had for him then. There’s something very special about your own words.
I’m not sure why I didn’t pick up a pen (or computer I suppose). It’s not like I didn’t try. I love writing. I know I NEED to record these times. But somehow every time I’d try it wouldn’t last. I never had a baby book. Would that have helped? I like to give that as my excuse but honestly I don’t think it would’ve made a difference. My problem: all or nothing. If I can’t write everything and do it perfectly then I won’t write at all. Talk about pressure. Talk about quick burnout. No wonder my journal page entries are random and incomplete. And they usually started with something like “it’s been so long since I’ve written!”
Time truly does go quickly and it’s never as obvious as watching your child grow. There are such significant developments between birth and age three. And I know I have constant changes ahead of me. I no longer see the baby face in him like I once did. Now I see the face of the big boy he’s becoming. I need to write about these years to come just as much as I wish I would’ve written about the past four. I need to write about the way he sings songs for us, makes soup with play-doh, races his cars and runs really fast. I need to write down how he loves to read before nap and bedtime and how excited he is in the morning (when we are NOT). I’m jealous of people like my husband who easily remember specific dates, times and events. I need to write specific stories; I swear I’ll remember, but actually won’t.
Sure, someday I hope my son has a little brother or sister and I’ll get to relive those baby times with him/her. But it won’t be the same as his first few years. Will I write it down then? I hope so! I need to keep one of my many empty journals nearby so I can jot little notes down here and there. I just need to remind myself it’s not about perfectionism. It’s about retaining memories. Repeat that to yourself. Do you need to pick up a pen? What can you write down today?