why I record it all

When I was younger, maybe junior high, I started to keep stuff- movie tickets, pictures, baseball tickets, little mementos from places I went with friends. I kept them in a drawer, and I think I used to go through them when I wanted to have a smile. I don’t know how or why I started. Some point after high school, I cleaned it down and held onto a few sentimental things from certain people. I guess mentally I was making room for a new chapter in my life. I wish I was a scrapbooker then, because there are things I wish I would have saved now that I have kids.
I think I started doing it to show I had a life. To show the world (even though only I looked at it) that I existed. I guess I was scared that I was not important at least not to my parents, who gave me to my grandparents, I wanted to have something to show for me and who I was. I seemed to have confidence but on the inside I was a crumbling dried up leaf. I just wanted to be important somehow.
Growing up the only pictures of me are from the hospital, the pediatrician (he was the family doctor forever) and my aunt, oh and school. My parents never had a camera and so my aunt documented my life and boy did she ever. She did not have kids so I was like her kid sometimes. When you grow up like that you just want normal, and you want to start out as an adult and do it different and when you have kids, you want to raise them how you wish you were raised.
I didn’t think I’d be a mama. I didn’t plan on it, but God did. Prior to that, I would take pics and keep mementos and make little scrapbooks of me and my husband and our two cats. At some point before having my kids I watched The Notebook over and over and over. I cried and cried and cried. Wow, that was love and romance. My husband doesn’t do romance, he is my best friend and the most amazing person I know, but like some guys romance is not his thing. Plus he’s British and they don’t get mushy. So I started to think, oh no what if I am old and have a memory issue someday, what if I forget our story and who we were and how we met and how we lived. This was a big fear for me. I volunteered in a dementia unit at a retirement home, and that was very hard. It was also one of the most rewarding moments in my entire life, but that’s another blog.
If I’ve learned anything it’s that life goes so fast. I sometimes don’t remember last year all that happened (and I do have one of the craziest strongest memories of anyone I know, so I really do fear losing it). So I began with my kids baby books, and I do a journal to each of them, I make scrapbooks of their everyday lives, holidays and do a special birthday page each year. I collect quotes to give to them when they graduate in a nice little book. I blog, I have folders of their artwork and one file folder for each with important rewards certs and stuff like that. I have a small box for each of them for bigger keepsakes, and a Christmas ornament box for each. Now I am not a hoarder, and I don’t keep every little thing and I don’t spend hours a month on this, but I do make an effort. I want my kids to be able to look back and see this life we are all in together. To remember things they might not otherwise have remembered. To read about how I see it and how I feel. To know parenting is the hardest job you will ever have. I want them to know they are my greatest gifts and I want to start a legacy for my families future generations. Something that can be shared and talked about. I want someone I will never meet a great great great great grandchild, to be able to know I existed and my kids existed and we mattered. I don’t always feel like each day is a success, but I want to make sure each day mattered.


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