I had big ambitions for my son Cash's baby book. My mother-in-law had passed down the baby book she kept for my husband, chronicling everything from his first foods and when each tooth came in to the time he got the gold ring on the carousel (yes, he's that old). It was overflowing with minute details about his first years. Hoping to capture the moments of Cash's life as carefully, I bought a charming hand-made book from a crafty friend. I bought dozens of scrap booking pages and little accents for them. I never did anything with any of it. And I've uploaded thousands -- literally like 6,000 -- photos to Shutterfly. But I stopped ordering them after Cash's first Christmas. They are just there. What I regret most about the gap between my ambitions and reality is that I constantly thought, "Well, I'll remember that because it was so sweet...or so funny" and didn't take the time to write things down. So many memories lost.
My friend Kate has come up with the perfect solution for the mom who is too busy (or lazy or whatever) to do a baby book or even a journal. She set up a gmail account for her son and she sends him e-mails detailing his life and the memorable moments. That way, there isn't the pressure to carve out time. She can just whip out an e-mail whenever she has something to say. You can even attach photos.
"I would have loved to document his "firsts" in a journal, photo album, keepsake, etc... but honestly, I am horrible about that kind of memory keeping. But I'm always on e-mail --so I thought, why not write my number one fan (even though it is always one sided at this stage)," Kate said.
Her e-mails include some of his "firsts," like "Today you started shaking your butt to They Might Be Giants track two," or "You are cutting your first tooth and still have not bit off my nipple, thank you."
She includes accomplishments, how he's changing, her opinion on politics or parenting, what is going on in the world, what is happening with relatives.
"I guess I also want him to know me as a person now. Didn't you wonder what your parents were like when you and they were young or in our case...youngish?," she said.
Sometimes the e-mails are even slightly judgmental, "Your cousin Josie has been sleeping through the night for soooo long now!"
Her husband also sends him e-mails but they've made a pact not to read each others messages because they are for Harrison.
Even though the technology is likely to change dramatically before their baby is old enough to read, they can archive the messages, or even print them out.
I'm setting e-mails up for Cash and Catcher right now. Their lives begin today!