Thursday, July 21, 2005

Journal for Baby

I don't remember where I first got the idea for it, but I started a journal for my daughter before she was even born. Well scratch that, I actually didn't start with a journal at all . . . I started with letters. I wrote letters to the unborn baby with the idea that when he or she turned 18, I would hand them all over.

After a dozen or so letters, the baby had been born and I decided that it was time for a journal instead of all the loose letters. I bought a thickly padded blank book with a teddy bear on the cover.

Before she was born, I told her about the doctor appointments and I told her about what life was like while I was pregnant. I couldn't help but wonder if the baby would ever know the amount of love that was being written into every word or if it would somehow appear to be "just a dumb old ancient diary." How I hoped that would not turn out to be the case!

I made more entries into the book after she was born. She would someday be able to read about her doctor checkups and milestones in her life. There was a lot to write about in the beginning because she decided to make her entrance into the world five weeks early and weighing in at a whopping 4 pounds and 13 ounces.

Before my daughter's first Christmas even arrived, my grandmother passed away and I had to write about the baby's great grandmother in her journal. It seemed to be a good way to introduce her to the wonderful lady she was suddenly stopped from getting to know while growing up. It certainly wasn't an easy entry for me to write, but I was always very glad that I was able to do that when all of the memories were still so sharp with me.

Then a month after that, baby's first Christmas did indeed arrive. She was only four months old, so it didn't mean nearly as much to her as it did to me! And what bittersweet one that first Christmas was for me. On the one hand, it was my first Christmas without my grandmother and on the other hand it was the first Christmas with my miracle baby that I'd tried for years to conceive.

As many entries as I remembered to make into that journal, there should have been a lot more. It was a great idea and I am glad for the entries I made but looking back I realize that I should have filled it and started other volumes. It is always so much easier to look back on "what should have been" but at least I recognize the error.

Believe it or not, I plan to make up for that overlooked matter. I think if I look through pictures and videos I have of those first years, I will be able to perhaps fill in some of the blanks. It would have been much easier just taking the time to do it back then, but this is all I have right now. Maybe she will have some memories to add to it and we can do it together.