As moms, we are constantly evolving. As our children grow up, our lifestyles go through many changes. It's natural to try to hold on by holding back "keepsakes" with the hopes that one day they will be as cherished as we cherish that moment in time.
Physical keepsakes are a difficult subject. Your children and your children's children most likely will not have the same taste as you, so besides that one piece of obligatory collectible memory on the shelf, the rest will be given to Goodwill (or perhaps your children will save them in a box for generations down the line). How do we make sure that doesn't happen? How do we make sure our precious memories are saved and loved by children and grandchildren alike? Answer: Make them easy and functional. All of those tubs of "art" your children do as they grow? Take photographs of each piece, and empty yourself a tub! The photos will go nicely in one small album ensuring the grandchildren hours of enjoyment, and you will enjoy it as well. There are also online companies where you can upload your photographs and write an accompanying narrative, which makes it an even more special keepsake.
One thing I've noticed is that everyone saves their wedding dresses. When my first daughter was born, I asked around and indeed my mother, grandmother and mother-in-law all still had their dresses, not knowing what to do with them. I had my daughters baptism dress made from my wedding dress (and eventually my second daughter, as well). Then I rounded up the other dresses and had a quilt made from pieces of all of our dresses. It turned out beautifully, and hopefully my girls will pass down their dresses as they have children.
It's also important to establish emotional keepsakes. My daughter loves to hear stories from my grandmother. And if my grandmother weren't still with us, she would hear them from me, as I have listened intently to the stories, as well. Some are funny, some are sad, but they are all a glimpse into the past that I'm glad I carry with me. We always tell stories about our youth and hopes, fears and the way we did things. I have no doubt my children's children will hear those stories from my children's lips and be just as fascinated. I can't wait to hear the stories told through their perspectives.
I have saved each child's first "lovey" and their coming home outfits, hoping they will want their children to use the same items in some way. I have tried to keep it simple because our precious memories are ours alone; our children and grandchildren aren't going to want boxes and boxes of things we've saved. It's the simple, everyday things that create the fondest memories.
Recently, I've begun sharing pieces of my childhood -- no, more accurately, stories of my growing up -- with my kids. When my children, now 8 and 5, were very small, they loved to look at their baby books and hear stories of themselves as a baby and ... read more
One of the fondest memories of my late 1950s and early 1960s rural New England childhood was spending most days each summer roaming and exploring throughout our neighborhood and the surrounding small farms. Our little development of post WWII ... read more