Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Journals and pictorial histories

I have been keeping journals for our nine grandchildren since they were born. Austin, 13, discovered his and thrilled at the photos of himself from birth to present day. He decided it was time to have the journals in his possession. I gave his sister hers when she turned eighteen, and that was my plan for all of the kids, but he asked for his now. Apparently, he's having a wonderful time discovering how much Nana loves him and how much fun he's had through the years. I write their quips and humorous quotes and tell them what they did when they came for a visit or if we went to one of their events. Now that they are older, I try to do a monthly entry, an overview, unless they dropped by unexpectedly or if they had a school or sports event, and then of course I jot a note about that. Not a long journal entry, just a written page of a small, spiral bound, chunky notebook. Each child has one or more with their photo pasted on the front.

George celebrated his thirteenth birthday Saturday, and Madison turns thirteen this summer. Where did the years go, and what makes kids these days grow so tall? They are all taller than I am. That was some year when we had three daughters pregnant simultaneously; you talk about hormones gone haywire!

My aunt gave me a black and white snapshot of myself when I was about four. I am standing with her. Looking at that picture is like a trip into the old neighborhood, a visit to my childhood, a glimpse of Grandma's house, a reminder of events, people and places. No wonder my grandson likes his journal.

This week, paste a photo of someone you love on a piece of paper; write a memory or meaningful message about that photograph, and give it to that person. It's a cost-free, priceless gift that is sure to be a treasure.

8 comments:

Susan said...

The photo with comments is a good idea, Linda. Also, in your journals for your grandchildren, what do you put? Information about their birth, birthday celebrations, etc.? How awesome! Please tell more! Sincerely, Susan

Linda O'Connell said...

Hi Susan,
Yes, I write the expected entries: "Today you hit a home run and scored for your team, Slugger." "Happy birthday, Cutie, I think you are the smartest little girl, and when you gooed at me..." Or this one, for my oldest: "Today you told your mom you were starting your own business. I'm impressed; you're only seven. Mom asked what kind of business and you said, "I'm selling caterpillars." You had removed all of your baby brother's diaper wipes and were keeping them in the container... with the lid open so they could breathe. Your mom found two crawling up the wall. So much for your business!" Or this one is another favorite, "Today you called and told Grandpa that you couldn't come over and play with him because your nose is sick, but you told him he's still your favorite kid." The older they get, the less details I write. But I am dedicated and figure a few moments of my time once a month will make for memories in the future. Another of my favorites: we were walking into a department store and one of the kids said, "Stop! I want to see those missing childrens' poster. I think I know their mother...the old woman who lived in a shoe had that many kids!" Miles of smiles, and these things have to be recorded!

irishoma said...

Hi Linda,
Thanks for your uplifting and inspiring post. Your grandkids are very fortunate to have you as their grandmother.
Donna

K9friend said...

What a great idea! I may steal it, assuming I ever get grandchildren.

Lynn said...

Aww Linda, I wish I would have done that (made journals for others) - guess it's not too late to start. Some time ago, I reconnected with an (ex) aunt when I sent her a picture of myself in a sweater that she had given me and I told her thank you and how much I appreciated it (since I probably hadn't done that as a child) and we then reconnected and she is such a beautiful person. It's amazing what letters do (I'm such a fan of letters, as you know).

Lisa Ricard Claro said...

Hi Linda - What a great idea! I have only a grand-dog right now, but when the grand-kids come along I'll work your idea. Very cool!

Tammy said...

Love love love the journal idea! And still laughing about the caterpillar escapees!

Julia said...

Wonderful idea for a gift!