Growth Charts and Videos? No, Thanks

Cynthia Dermody
18
memories and baby books

Photo by cozycabinmom

The scratch marks on the closet door of my childhood home are still there, the places where my mom made me stand every couple of months to chart my growth from toddler to teen. My mother either got bored or I started refusing to submit to the semi-annual event around 6 years old, because that's where the marks leave off.

This is one tradition I'll admit I'm not going to uphold. Besides wanting to prevent even more toddler-related scratches on my walls, I don't see the point of growth charts. I know many parents still do, and I totally get why -- plus there are tons of fun and colorful ones in the stores, even fancy growth charts where you insert pictures of your child at the appropriate age into plastic sleeves near the measurement.

But not for me. Yes, I am that mom. The mom who stopped writing in her kids' baby books when they were 8 months and 6 months respectively, who rarely picks up a camera (thank goodness for my husband), and (BIG confession) I don't even own a video camera.

I don't -- and can't -- track every second, every experience of my child's existence. The way life is right now, I'm lucky if I pay the bills on time and remember to put my kids' coats on before they head outside.

Don't get me wrong -- I envy those uber-organized moms that let no small detail or experience vanish into thin air. I suppose it would be nice one day when I'm older to pull out the record books and reminisce over a picture of my son's first soccer game, or the date my daughter's canine teeth came in. I hope there won't come a day, years from now, where I stop suddenly and think, "Gosh, I will never know how tall was Carolyn when she was 37 months old!"

But I don't think so. I'd like to think I'll be dwelling on the people my kids are right now.

So I'll continue to snap a picture when I can and save special artwork, clothing and toys -- but for the rest of it, I'm content to live in the moment of my children's milestones. There won't be any videos or diaries to prove it, but even better will be remembering that I was the one in front of the lens -- jumping, laughing, eating, and playing right along with them.

++Are you obsessive about keeping photo albums, growth charts, videos, diaries, and scrapbooks? Why or why not is this important to you?

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