Thursday, 30 May 2013


It's overwhelming sometimes when we think about the responsibility we have to preserve Jack-Jack's early memories. I had a panic the other day when I realised that all the photographs we'd ever taken of him were on my phone, so I carefully backed them all up to the computer, and then bought a USB stick online that we can fill with photos and put in his memory box. We tend to take at least one photo every day so after nearly 5 months we have taken quite a few!

If/when he moves on from us, his memory box will go with him, and the bits and pieces inside will be used to create an age appropriate Lifestory book and letters to read as he grows up to help him understand what's happened to him and why. We put in things like tickets, drawings, leaflets and photos from places we've been, major events in his life or things he's seen. Jack-Jack's also includes the outfit he was wearing when he arrived at our house, and a couple of pieces of clothing that his mum has bought for him that he's grown out of.

We do the required daily recordings, but also write a more detailed log of what's happened during the day, including whether he's slept well, any outings we've been on, anything he's attempted for the first time, funny things he's done and any milestones he's reached. We started doing this early on when Jack-Jack first arrived with us, as we wrote everything down to try and get him into a good routine, and just never stopped! Today for example he picked up a beaker of water, tipped it up for the first time and drank (right after we told our friends who were visiting that he couldn't do it yet - he either watched their nearly-2-year-old and copied her, or perhaps just wanted to steal her drink!) I'm sure these detailed notes will also make their way into his file somehow for him to read in the future, whether we include them in his memory box or give them to his social worker.

Memories are so important - I can't count the number of times in my life I've asked my own mother to look through old family photos with me, to tell me about the day I was born, how much I weighed, what my first word was, how old I was when I started walking, what my favourite food was when weaning, or when I cut my first tooth. I can't imagine not having that - if my parents didn't know these things because they weren't there, and they weren't recorded anywhere for me. Of course this isn't always possible - sometimes the facts have genuinely been lost along the way - but Esmeralda and I have the opportunity to document Jack-Jack's life with us, however long that may be, and I would rather fill up 6 memory sticks of photographs and write 30 pages about his "firsts" than risk him not having these precious memories to look back on when he grows up.

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