Monday, January 30, 2012

Project: Mother's Book

When I found out I was pregnant with Cordelia I knew I wanted to do something that was very personal for my child. Something that would extend beyond the boundaries of the standard baby book. I wanted to make a connection with the child that was, at that point, no larger than the size of a pea. I wanted to share with this tiny little being how much I loved it, what I wanted for it in life and just to record those moments that make this one being special and unique.

mother's books

I borrowed an idea that my mother had and ran with it a bit more. I went to the book store and found a couple of blank books ( I knew even then that there would be more than one child in our future). When I got home I tucked one book away to wait for a few years and the other book I cracked the spine, grabbed a pen and began writing.

open book

What a weird feeling it was to write something to a total stranger. I didn't really know where to start. So I introduced myself and explained a bit about the situation. I told this mystery baby about her family and how we reacted when we found out that I was pregnant. Generally I geared my writing toward the adult this child would one day be.

As the months wore on I detailed the progress of my pregnancy; the day we found out she was a girl and eventually the day she was born. Most of those early posts are so emotionally charged, filled with hope and love. Over time I started writing about the little details of her life, of course I talked about the first smiles and baths, but I also write down the funny stories, the little charming tales that I could so easily forget to tell her later. Like how she used to chant, "Happy, happy, happy." Or the time she asked if Eric and I were smart. I replied, "Yes. Are you smart?" and she said, "Nope, I'm pretty."

sweet girl

Sometimes I will write in her book several times a month and other times it is maybe once a month. Sometimes I quickly jot down a sentence or two and other times I fill in several pages. My goal is just to give her a little glimpse into her life, the things that make her special and to detail how very much she is loved.

Recently I dug out the other book and made my very first entry for this littlest one. I expected it to feel pretty much the same, but already I have a sense that these two kids are distinctly different and I found that my relation of the same information was very different.

My ultimate goal is to one day hand these books off to my children, who will be just heading out into the world, and to remind them of all the little things that make them loved. If you want to start, even if your kids are much older I highly recommend it. My only rule (for myself) is to keep it positive.


Anne Marie said...

These books are beautiful gifts for your children! I have no doubt they'll be treasured, probably for generations. My dad did this for Megan, his only grandchild. He called it his Megan Journal, and would write about things they did together, the way he felt about her, ect. They were two peas in a pod. It was very sweet, and since he died when Megan was only 7, she'll have it to look at and know her grandpa loved her dearly, even if she doesn't remember most of the things he wrote about. It's a connection she'll have with him forever, and she'll be able to share some of her grandpa with her own children someday.

Kate W. said...

What a neat idea, Maria!!! I wish I had something like that from my mother. I'm sure Cordy and this new little wonder will both cherish their books forever!

Tahra said...

I do not have babies,,,but this made me cry! You are such a great mama and an inspiration to anyone who is, or will ever be, a parent. Thanks for sharing, like always!!

Susan said...

The bonus of all that is, you will enjoy reading the books yourself. It is amazing what you will forget as your children get older; the books help bring it all back for yourself as well.

sophie said...

Beautiful idea! I have a very well filled in baby book for Siena, a couple of pages for Lu and NOTHING for Eva...poor third kids, there just isn't enough time (I am a third kid too)

Cordelia (and the new bub) will just adore these books in the future, such treasures.

Bettina said...

Hi I love this idea and need to go out to buy a beautiful book to start for my little one before he arrives. So your Mum sent me over to your blog (organized a play date, as she called it). Happy to have found it.

elizabeth said...

love this!
i did something sort of similar for my two - though the second one started to run together - they'll either have to share it or make copies. :)

Victoria said...

I did something similar for Sean as well...good thing too, he tells me he remembers none of it and looks at me like I must be talking about someone elses kid, boys! Ha! I agree with Susan..I enjoy remembering

Kate said...

I do this with Moleskines. And we have big artist's sketch books into which we place their footprints every year on their birthdays. I need to write more often, though. Some days it's only a line.

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