I am a hoarder. No, you will not find my home stacked floor-to-ceiling with dusty collections, cats’ eyes peeking from shadowy nooks. My hoarding is not as obvious, not as glaring, and yet I still scramble to save and preserve it all. I am a hoarder of memories and moments. I take mental snapshots and tuck them away for later so that I may record them on scraps of paper, on notes, in journals, word documents, emails. I save words that speak to me as if they were treasures. In the same vein, I cherish words received: cards, quotes, letters, drawings, and musings from my children. I have been a memory and moments hoarder since childhood. Perhaps this hoarding is the result of an inborn sensitivity, of having a deep understanding, from a young age, that life is transient, that everything can change in a moment. This feeling that life should be savored has only grown since becoming a mother, as I watch my little poppies grow and change far too quickly. I now appreciate my hoarding in a way that I hadn’t before; what was once viewed as quirky is now seen as a helpful methodology, a way of recording and preserving these children, as they are in this very moment, before they slip into adulthood. Today, I am going to share my top memory and moments hoarding tools, because I know I’m not the only parent out there wishing that time could pause or, at the very least, slow down ever so slightly.
5 Must Have Memory Keeping Tools
1. Your Birthday Book: A Keepsake Journal by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
This author also makes a baby book that looks adorable. I wish I had known about it when I was pregnant because I’d probably have that, too!
2. My Quotable Kid: A Parents’ Journal of Unforgettable Quotes by Chronicle Books
The reality is, you could just buy a blank journal with some funky cover and use it as a quote book, but this is a neat idea and it is a fun and affordable gift. A friend recommended this book to me years ago, after reading some of toddler Leo’s funny quotes on Facebook. I ended up loving the concept so much that I got one for each child, although you could get one and use it for everyone if that is easier for your family. These journals are hardcover, so they are durable, and they are small in size. I have them in a junk drawer in our kitchen for easy access. If someone says something hysterical, it’s easy to pull it out and jot it down. If you’re having a bad day and you’re just about ready to auction off one of your children to the very first bidder, it’s nice to pull out and remember that sometimes they can be quite funny and cute. It’s an instant bad mood killer.
*Side note: I tried for over two years to use the calendar in my phone/on my desktop. I always felt disorganized and initially I blamed it on the kids (when in doubt, always blame the kids for taking your brain cells!). Turns out, I need to write it down to remember it. I knew this, of course, as this is how I used to study for exams. I just never translated it to planning and organization. There have been studies on this, so if you feel like an old lady because you opt for an old-school planner over your iPhone, just cite the literature.
4. E-mail accounts for children
5. Oh, The Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss
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