Guest blog by Karen Pederson Travis
Kids say the funniest things. Which is why as a young mother I started writing down the things my daughter, Emily, would say when she was little. They were moments that, at the time, I was sure I’d remember forever. But life has a way of flooding the mind with other things, and I didn’t want those precious memories to be drowned out.
When Emily was two years old, I started scribbling notes in a blue, spiral-bound journal. I didn’t write in it every day. I’m not disciplined enough for that. I just captured the highlights. The moments she’d never remember—moments I never wanted to forget.
Some entries were only a couple of words, like “livinging room” or “Baby Cheez-Its” (a crowd favorite at Christmastime). Others were longer to provide context. All were written in black or blue pen, the messy scrawl of my handwriting a testament to my exhaustion.
I kept writing as often as I could, adding a few mementos between the pages--a note to the tooth fairy instructing her not to take away the baby teeth, home-made Mother’s Day cards, drawings, a few photos. Fragments of childhood and motherhood, our lives deeply intertwined.
Until one day, I stopped. I hadn’t planned to. I don’t even remember doing it. I just remember finding the journal in the back of my nightstand. I opened it up, dusted it off, and realized it had been years since I’d made an entry. I wondered how many memories had been lost in that time. My nest now empty, I missed the little girl I spent so much time raising.
With no way to reconstruct the past 22 years, all I can do now is thank my younger self for taking the time to capture those moments. And every so often, I sit down in the livinging room to re-read the journal for a couple of whiles, and I can’t help but smile.