My 8-month-old daughter, Lena, started pulling herself up to a standing position. Even though she can't talk, her triumphant, happy squeal let me know this was a big moment for her. But—like all of her other firsts the past several months—Lena will not remember this special day. It's up to me to share this story with her when she's older. The question is: How well will I remember?
That's why my husband, Brian, and I have been emailing Lena when big moments like this happen. The email address is a virtual journal where we write our thoughts and feelings as they happen. We've been writing to Lena ever since I was eight weeks pregnant. I wrote to Lena when I first felt her kick in my tummy, the first time I ever saw her, the first time she rolled, the first time she laughed, etc. My husband does the same.
In the coming years, we'll use these emails to help us remember these moments. Then, when our babe is 18 years old, we plan to share the email address with Lena so she can have this special virtual journal to read at her leisure. I'm sure there will be emails from me when she's a teenager about a fight we've had. And though she'll remember those moments (perhaps), it will be special for her to relive them from my perspective. At least I hope it will be.
I'm not the first parent to keep an interactive journal—I got the idea from a friend. In fact, interactive journals have become a trend. And some parents take it one step further. Like Dutch photographer and artist Frans Hofmeester, who condensed 12 years of video footage of his daughter, Lotte, into an elegant two-and-a-half-minute time-lapse video. You can view this touching video below.