I’m not a sentimental person – just ask my mom. My mom saves everything and remembers everything. I didn’t get this trait from her. I don’t save much and can’t remember anything. My daughter is only three and I have a hard time remembering when she hit her milestones. My mom can remember a grade she got on a test in the third grade. Sometimes I wish I was more like her in this sense.
My mom passed along a cardboard box of news clippings, report cards and mementos from my childhood that she had lovingly kept for me; I lost them all when our basement flooded, having never gotten around to finding a better way to store them. I’m way behind on putting pictures in photo albums; I didn’t even take many photos until I got my iPhone which, in the grand scheme of things means that many years and activities went undocumented. I never kept a baby book; I knew I’d never use it. I even lost the free paper growth book our pediatrician gave me to track my daughter’s height and weight. I started a “thought a day” journal when my daughter was born and stuck with that for longer than I thought – two out of the five years it allowed for.
I like the idea of all of these things, at least when it comes to my daughter. I may not be particularly sentimental, but what if she wants to look back on these things herself? I was absentmindedly considering these things the other day while scrolling through my Instagram album when it hit me: Instagram was my modern day photo album and baby book, all in one.
Like many parents I joined Instagram when my daughter was young, because when you’re up all night nursing around the clock you need another form of social media to keep you busy and awake. As I moved from one picture to the next, watching my daughter grow with each shot, I realized I had a nice little collection of moments from our time together – a few special pictures of all the things we do from day to day, the things that matter most to me.
I may not have a good record of every tooth lost, but what I do have are memories saved of trips to the library, walks to the park, moments spent snuggling and giggling; the moments that make up our life, not our record book.
All photos credit C.Allard