I just finished my daughter’s baby book.
Besides some written additions (height, weight, lost teeth) down the road, all the main milestone pages are full, all the pictures are in, and the book is completely stuffed. (Onward to the toddler book!!)
I am not the most organized person on earth, nor am I the least. But I have managed to keep up with this one project partly out of a sense of if-I-don’t-it-will-be-impossible-to-catch-up but mostly because I loved MY baby book so much when I was little.
I remember reading on another mommy blog a reader’s story about how she had a fight with her son (he was 9? 10?) and after he’d stormed off he somehow found his baby book and came back to her and made up because he was so impressed that she’d done so much to care for him and record every detail when he was a baby. I have no illusions that the baby book I just finished is going to resolve some angry outbursts, but I thought it was sweet to know that kids out there (besides me) DO appreciate their mom’s record-keeping.
My baby book, which I still have, is a pretty standard thing (for its day), complete with drawings that seem twee and overly saccharine to me now. But when I was little, I loved its pink satin cover, its pictures of little pastel animals, its tiny envelope with my hair clipping inside, the glossy pictures of me as a unrecognizable newborn, the page with my hospital bracelet and bassinet card, the ink footprints, the familiar and even handwriting of my mom, and even the smell of the pages. The relics of your itty-bittiness, a distant childhood you can’t even remember as a child, they are powerful instruments and fascinating links to where you started. I feel bad for everyone who doesn’t have them in some form or another.
Finishing up my daughter’s baby book tonight, now that I’ve finally printed some key photos, I feel like it’s not quite up to par with mine. Maybe because to me, there is no mystery to it? I was there, aware for all of those tiny marks, itemized facts, and snapshots. And my handwriting isn’t as good as my mom’s. I hope my daughter someday appreciates it, though. I have included some things that my baby book didn’t have: fun stickers, lots of cards from her birth, handwritten notes inside the back cover from all of my baby shower guests, and one sign of the times– a series of ultrasound pictures from 7 weeks to 21 weeks.
I hope someday, when she looks at the tiny bubble that was her smallest identifiable origin point, she will be amazed at herself, as I was looking at her the first time, and will marvel at her journey from something so small and blurry. Maybe she will ponder the care it took from her parents, family, and friends to bring her thus far. Maybe she will wonder why I used so many stickers. Either way, I hope she feels loved.