I want to be one of those mothers who write their children poignant letters on their birthdays-- the sort of person who marks each year with a list of accomplishments and little loves in a special book or seals them up to be "opened when you turn 32". Instead, I am the person who scribbles quick words to her boys after a particularly hard day on the back of a recipe card. I mark firsts in the corners of my calendar. I tell them how much I love them in between patterns in my notebook. I bet you a dollar that if you picked up any of my notebooks/list pads/junk mail, you would find some kind of awkward apology or better yet, something like a date, time, and the words "he said dog today".
This sort of record keeping is not really that bad, but it does get a little bulky. I'm afraid to throw anything away lest I'm letting go of valuable family history. I've kept up with their baby books (sort of) but that sort of information can be a little dry or worse-- a little too informative. In the weeks following Sam's birth I recounted in detail my ugly labour story and the doctors that made it all possible. I'm all for full disclosure but boy, do I need a good editor. I don't know why I wanted him to know all of those things... or why I thought I should put it into the sort of thing that people keep on their coffee tables.
I want both of my boys to have those words one day when they are good and ready (and much, much older). And I want them to have them about the times that they can't remember, written right now, recounting it all as it happens and not how I might remember it one day. But I want it to be just for them.
Anyway. You see where I'm going. I needed a place to keep all the scraps and bits that fell nicely in line with my "stuff it and forget it" mode of organization. I give you, The Fabric Envelope. It's lined with stiff interfacing and snaps down closed. It's labeled with a fabric marker (a stamp would be better, but I was in a hurry) and the whole thing measures approx. 8" by 10". It should fit the next 20 years of scintillating facts like "your favourite thing is the plastic chicken, 07/14/08" or the letters I've written to the boys (all three of them) when I was sure I was going to meet some kind of untimely death (I am a teeny tiny bit neurotic). I don't want to leave things unsaid.
The envelope fits into a file folder along with all our "grab in case of fire" documents and best of all, I can start recycling my old grocery lists without any parental guilt taking over.
I'll put together a little how-to when I do one for Mr. Teeth. We are beginning his birthday week tomorrow. Needless to say, I'm feeling a little bit maudlin. Consider yourself warned.