My mother wasn’t a very sappy woman, but she loved to create heirlooms and save memories. Now that I have my own little one, and my mother has passed away, I find myself wanting to hold on to every little moment and every little thing as well, because I know how infinitely valuable those relics will be years from now.
About two years ago, when I was going through a box of things from my mom’s old apartment, I came across a letter that she had written to me when I was in high school. “Life is short,” she said. I know my high-school self had dismissed the sentiment, but my hands shook as I read it and cried.
A few months before I gave birth to my baby girl, I stopped into a Papyrus to run an errand for my boss. The clerk showed me a small hardcover book called Letters to My Baby, and I knew I had to have it.
Letters to My Baby is a paper time capsule by artist Lea Redmond. Beautifully designed, there are spaces for twelve letters. Some of them are prompted, like “on the day you were born…” or “the world I want to give you…” There are also blank spaces for you to write whatever is on your heart. I plan to use one of them to tell her about her grandmother Mary, and seal my mother’s letter to me along with it.
Every time I sit down to write one of these letters (with the goal to have them all done well before her first birthday) I’m brought to tears. While the book will be a treasure to her when she’s older, it’s a gift to her father and me now. Filling out those pages is a reminder to stop and appreciate our little baby, no matter how much she cries or fights her naps.
“Life is short,” my mother said. And she was right.
How are you documenting your baby’s first year?