If you’re like me, you can’t get enough of your friends’ posts that show the month by month growth of their babies. I have seen so many cute blankets and stickers made just for this too. I’m all for documenting a baby’s growth using the same background or toy, etc. It makes it so easy to see the growth, long after your baby is not such a baby anymore. And we all know how cliche it is to say things like, “Kids grow up so fast”, “You’ll miss it when it’s gone”, and, “Savor all the moments” – but the truth is that time DOES go fast and your sweet little baby will be standing in front of you in no time, staring you straight in the eye.
But what about later? It seems to me that everyone marks that first year of life, but then life goes on and babies grow and no one thinks to keep marking that growth in a similar way with their “big” kids. I decided before my kids were even on my radar that I would document their growth through their whole lives, not just that first year. I promised myself that I would be “that Mom”. And I have! I haven’t documented every milestone (I can’t tell you the exact date that my daughter first smiled) or scrapbooked as often as I “should”, but I HAVE documented my kids’ growth each year.
Every year on their birthday we do 2 things:
(or let’s be realistic, sometimes a day or week later when things settle)
- We take a photo of them in the same shirt. We started at 6 months and then did 1 year, 2 years etc.
- We mark their height on a growth chart my Dad made. It’s about 6.5 feet tall and made of wood. My plan is that they can pull it off the wall (thank you 3M velcro) and take it with them when they have kids and a home of their own.
It’s not too hard to remember to do both these things. They are a habit, something I only have to remember once per year and not each month, so it’s no problem doing it each time.
I am already so incredibly satisfied with the results, that I can only imagine what my heart will feel when my kids are leaving for college, with 18 years of photos for me to hold onto. And hey, maybe they will continue the tradition with their own kids and we’ll have multi-generational memories.
For our son, I chose the football jersey that my husband had his senior pictures taken in. That way we can compare father and son at about the same age.
For our daughter, I chose a pretty little tank top I was wearing when I found out I was pregnant with her. I wasn’t 18 years old in the photo, but close enough.
Here are my kids at 6 months and again on their most recent birthdays. It makes me sigh with joy.
If you have already missed a couple of years with your own kids, don’t sweat it, you can start now if you’d like. You will still see a very real difference in a 2-year-old and your 10 or even 18 year old. Then, it just takes a tiny bit of dedication each year and the end result will speak for itself!
Do you have a creative way of documenting growth? Share it with us!