16 Dec 2017 Capturing and remembering firsts
by Brittany Gilbert
As a parent of young children, every day can seem like it’s filled with the wonder of firsts. First smile, first word, first steps, first haircut, first tooth, first lost tooth. Life moves fast, but thankfully we have many free ways to help us capture and remember our kids’ firsts.
Take advantage of social media
By far my favorite thing about Facebook and Instagram is the ability to share our lives with our families that don’t live close. We have been able to share so many of our kids’ firsts through the outlet of social media. We’ve posted videos announcing pregnancies, gender reveals, first steps, first words, etc. It’s such a neat tool.
One of my favorite ways to use these platforms is to help me keep a journal. I’m not the best at remembering to write everything down, but when I have down time, I like to catch up, and these social media sites help me do just that. I scroll back through my posts and write down any moments I might have missed from memory. Oftentimes, my posts on Facebook are more for my own journaling than anything.
Keep a written journal
It doesn’t have to be a lengthy journal entry every night. One of my favorite baby shower gifts ever was a small box with index cards for every day of the year for three years. Each card had a few lines to capture the date for the next three years. It was amazing because each year I could see a snippet of what happened the year before.
Some companies have taken advantage of this idea and have already done the work by putting journals together designed to challenge you to only write the highlights of the day in a few short sentences. For example, “Everly took her first steps today” or “Canaan read independently for the first time.” This really takes the pressure off to find the time to sit down and remember all of the details, but surely you will want to jot down a few things to preserve the memories. Even if it works better for you to write down memories on a calendar, that’s still a good way to journal.
Leverage technology to create a time capsule
We use Timehop to help remind us of special moments. If you’re unfamiliar, Timehop is an app that connects to your pictures and posts on social media and takes you on a trip down memory lane of previous years.
So today’s Timehop will show you what was happening a year ago on the same day and every year before, as long as you’ve been connected to social media. It’s amazing to see videos and pictures from previous years and see how far you’ve come, how big the kids have grown, how much they’ve learned, etc. Have tissues handy because it’s bound to get emotional and hilarious at times.
You may not even realize that you have an excellent tool to use in capturing the firsts in your children and family’s life. Sometimes, smart phones are just a means to get information, but we also put a lot of information into them. They are mobile content creation tools that are with us all the time, making it easier than ever to capture life’s important moments.
It’s easy to be distracted by our technologies, but with just a few intentional steps, you can leverage them to capture and keep up with everything your family is doing.
Brittany Gilbert is a former FACS teacher at Maumelle High School. She and her husband, Levi, have two sons and a daughter and live in Conway. Brittany can be reached at [email protected].