Like most Mom’s, I started out with a plan to capture every moment and keepsake when each of my kids were born. I had a baby book ready to go. Camera’s nearby to snap photos of all the firsts. With my first two, I even started blogs for the family to follow their growth as we always lived away. Making sure their childhood and memories were well documented for future enjoyment.
I always had good intentions. I’m pretty sure there’s a saying about them.
In spite of those good intentions, I’ve actually done a pretty terrible job of documenting the moments. Most of the pages in those baby books are empty. There are gaps where very few videos or photos exist. I’ve thrown things into boxes or drawers to keep without any rhyme or reason. Things are documented in my mind, but as I’ve seen they don’t always stay there. I’d be willing to guess that most mom’s fall into this same bucket.
Throughout my life I’ve always been a bit of a pack rat. When it came to kid’s stuff, I have always had a hard time deciding what to part with. Since Cameron died, I’m so glad I saved what I did. I wish I had saved more. Taken more photos. Documented every little detail. My biggest realization? I always thought I was saving these things to give back to them one day. In reality, the memories attached to these things are mine…for me. Not necessarily for them.
While I do have a small box of things my Mom has given to me. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve opened it. Not to say I don’t appreciate having that stuff. I do. However, I’ve found that since having my own kids, their milestones and memories carry far more weight. Mine were more a novelty for them to see, and an interesting comparison.
This realization hasn’t helped me narrow down what I should be keeping. However, I do know I need to get better about documenting things in a good way. A way that makes sense and makes looking at these things later (for the memories), easier.
Lately I’ve had several conversations with friends and family members about things they keep (or don’t keep). We’ve laughed about how crazy some of these things seem. So here is my keepsake list.
Crazy Mom Keepsake List:
- Hospital bracelets – I kept each of our hospital bracelets. It’s fun to look back and remember how tiny they were. Not sure why I kept my own? A bit morbid, but I also kept mine from Cameron’s passing. I would have kept his if I had thought to ask for one when we left the hospital.
- Diapers – Let me clarify, they are clean/unused diapers. I always have a newborn diaper put away. It reminds me how tiny they were. “This thing actually fit them!”
- Clothing/Shoes – Newborn outfits. Hospital hats and blankets. First shoes. I have at least narrowed mine down to 2 totes. It’s nice to open them and remember when they used to wear the outfits. This is probably the least crazy thing on the list.
- Umbilical cord/clip – The only thing on the list I wasn’t crazy enough to keep! I know a lot of people that were though. When you really stop and think about it, it’s kind of gross.
- Hair – The first haircut. Somehow I lost the hair I had from each of the big kids. I’m really not sure how or why because I keep this stuff so organized (sarcasm!). I am not as upset that these came up missing as I thought I would be. That should tell me something. However, I do have Cameron’s last haircut (from the hospital). That one I will try to be a little more responsible with.
- Teeth – You read that right! I’m part of a unique (possibly creepy) Mom club that keeps a bag of baby teeth in a box, in my closet. I saved every one of Cameron’s teeth. Well, except for one he lost. On the bag I documented the date of each loss. I plan to do the same with the girls.
I’m pretty sure my kids won’t care about the things on this list. At least not the way I always will. That’s OK. Any keepsake I have from my kids is really more for me than it is for them.
What crazy things have you kept? Am I alone in this list?