My oldest daughter is turning 21. Wow. I guess I’m excited for her to reach this milestone. Yet there’s a part of me that longs for old times, to relive the moments when she and I snuggled, had tickle fights rather than verbal disagreements, and she ran to me when she was hurt. I wish I could go back to when she was hitting other milestones...her first tooth, her first word, the first time she wrote her name.
Whatever the age of your child, you probably would love to freeze time with them. I’m not talking about the days that are a struggle and you want to hit the “next” button. Screaming-and-never-resting-acid-reflux days—next! Middle-of-the-night barf sessions—next!
No, I mean the sweet times, the times we treasure as parents. Like that time you heard the angelic tone of your small daughter on your voicemail and it melted your heart. Or when you saw your mischievous sons in that baby squat, genuinely curious about a bug crawling on the sidewalk, and you saw the boys right then as beautiful, miraculous creatures. What about the occasion when your middle schooler let go and did something completely new and tried out for the lead in the play, even though he wasn’t so confident about the outcome. You felt that glow of pride.
There are moments you’d love to replay over and over.
I know I do.
Since we can’t always freeze those times to replay for when we need a reminder of how special they are and how much we love them, I’ve found a few ways to capture that moment; here are three I like best.
1. Write down how you feel about the moment when it happens.
Whether you write it down in an old-fashioned journal, use Evernote, or post photos of your child on Instagram...there’s no right way to keep a written or visual reminder. Those notes are lifesavers when you need a lift as a parent. I re-read my journal often and I’m so happy I have many of those times preserved in their original context, how I felt about them as they were happening.
2. Record an audio interview with your child.
Ask them about their favorite things, what makes them laugh, or even what they hate. I love to listen to these. They will love them later in life, too.
3. Capture the moment in a photograph and have it made into a piece of art you can frame.
I’m not talking about a posed photo. Candid shots of your child make the best reminders of their amazingness. I have created custom watercolors for several moms with photos they’ve posted on Instagram. While not every photo inspires a good piece of art, we work together to figure out what would capture the essence of their children. This art will stay with you. It will be treasured and handed down as a family heirloom for generations. You’ll be surprised and amazed at how much this art will touch your heart.
Starting now to create a reminder of your love for your child that you can read, listen to, or look at when you feel like they are growing up too fast is one of the best ways to freeze time with your child.
What are you waiting for?