Serious Warning (as opposed to my goofy ones): There’s a pretty intense and somewhat scary picture at the end of this post
Let’s face it – I’m not the crafty type. Neither is my kid. It gets a little depressing seeing everyone’s kids’ pictures on Facebook engaged in all sorts of creative past times. It makes me feel inadequate to know that I can’t grow anything but twigs; I don’t scrapbook my child’s life; I’ve never done anything exciting with toilet paper rolls except use them for impromptu bookmarks.
I started off, like most new parents, with the best of intentions. I have a baby book. I wrote some stuff in it (I think). It’s filled with post-it notes that mark the milestones in my child’s life. I desperately hope that’s good enough. I have a billion pictures, however. And we have some videos. But I’m not really into photography – I feel like I’m missing out on everything if I’m behind the camera.
In my pathetic & lazy defense – my son was in the Neonatal ICU for the first four months of his life, deathly ill with little possibility of survival. Like the amazing person he is, 5 operations and 60 blood transfusions later then came home with machines and tubes and all sorts of instructions. We had doctor’s appointments and therapist visits every day for months. When life settled down – I settled down with it. I think at first I was kind of avoiding the whole milestone accomplishment thing because he was not going to be following the typical infant to toddler route. His pediatrician asked me if I had the ‘What to Expect for the First Year’ book or any of its brethren. When I said “yes” – he said “Throw them out”. Thank GOD I did. It was like a weight had been lifted off my chest. At that point- I decided that I’d put things on sticky notes to sort out later because in our house, every day that he breathed and thrived was a huge milestone. So when he’s older and wants to see his baby book – I’ll haul out the ‘book’ filled with post-it notes and emails to our family & friends describing all the details of our daily hospital visits, and I’ll show him pictures of 10 NICU nurses that came to his 1st birthday party and all the things that we made for him in the 101 days that we thought we’d lose him. I’ll show him the cassette tape of us reading him stories and the music tapes we had for him to listen to. I hope he’ll know he was cherished even if I we didn’t write in the “book” like most of the other moms and dads.
So every time I see those pictures on Facebook – I have to remember to think – who cares if neither of us wants to grow veggies in the garden or collect bugs or do karate…he’s here and he loves to read, talk, cook, play video games, listen to music, play instruments, snuggle in bed and do any number of mundane things that I am grateful for every day of my life.