Now that polite society has Pinterest (aka the Devil’s Playground), I am acutely aware that there are 40,528 ways to cherish my sons’ childhood, and I am failing at all but one of them.
Behold! The birthday journal. When the boys were about a year old, I started keeping a journal of messages for them. Each year on their birthday, I’d write an entry to wish them happy birthday, and tell them a little bit about their lives that year. The goal was to fill it up through high school, and then give it to them on their 18th birthday (Pinterest actually can’t take credit for this – it was a great suggestion from my sister-in-law). I’ve been faithfully writing their birthday messages for five years now. And while I think this will be an awesome gift to give them, I’m actually more impressed that I’ve remembered to do it for five years in a row.
This year I took a look back at what I’d written for the previous four years. Recurring themes are taking shape:
- Your brother is a gift. Appreciate him daily, even when he doesn’t deserve it.
- Your family loves the crap out of you, always, no matter what.
- You are sometimes an enormous goofball. Keep up the good work.
I’m a little concerned that these yearly messages will be repetitive. I’ve considered writing more often than their birthday, but that could be overbearing (March 30 – If I have to tell you to put the toilet seat down one more time, so help me…) It’s a bit much. You understand.
Some of what I could write feels really exciting to me, but will likely feel ridiculous and mundane to them when they finally read it. (You learned how to tie your shoes! Hooray!). The things I’m proud of now will not necessarily resonate with grown-up Cade and Grady.
What should resonate with them is really what should ring true for all of us, I guess. If I
repeat that message, is it really so bad? Nope – it’s good for all of us.
Let’s say it together, shall we?
- Family is a gift. We should appreciate them even when we don’t feel like it.
- Your family loves the crap out of you, even if you don’t talk every day.
- BE THE GOOFBALL. At least once in awhile. Smiling more is good for everyone.
Messages like that are worth repeating, but if you want to mix it up you might want to also include one thing they did each year that was disgusting or just plain weird. Imagine how embarrassed they will be when you read it aloud to their friends after graduation!
An excellent idea!