memories

Looking Forward, Looking Back

Not long after our son turned one I bundled up all of his baby clothes and gave them to a friend who was having a baby boy. In my mind we no longer needed them as we weren’t planning on having another baby, so it just made sense to give them to someone who could make use of them. I told her to just donate them to an op shop when she was done with them. It wasn’t until about a year ago that I realised I had made a terrible mistake. I’d given away all of my son’s baby clothes! I hadn’t even kept one outfit. I felt like a terrible mother, I felt sick. I had no reminder of how small he was when he came into this world. Of course I have photos and I have memories but that’s just the problem. I struggle to remember. I look at newborns now and I just don’t remember our son ever being that small. Was he ever that small?

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When our son was a baby I think I spent so much time looking forward and waiting. Waiting for him to go to sleep, for him to wake up, for hubby to get home from work, always waiting. Waiting for the next milestone; looking forward to when he would start walking or talking or sleeping through the night. I spent so much time looking forward that I forgot to be present, to just enjoy the moment. People told me of course, all the time, friends and family and even complete strangers would look at my baby and say “enjoy it while it lasts, they grow so fast” and I’d smile and nod but I don’t think I really go it. Not until now.

Now, you’re a walking talking little human being and I can’t remember what it was like before. When you had no words, when your tiny little body fit inside my belly. Of course I know all of these things happened but it seems like a lifetime ago, a whole other world away. I spent so much time then looking forward and now all I can do is look back.

And for anyone out there who thinks I’m sounding clucky (yes Kat I’m looking at you) no, I don’t want another baby but I do wish I had my time with my baby again. There are a lot of things I would do differently, now that I know

You are one thousand, six hundred and forty nine days old….but that’s only four years. It’s so true what they say, the days are long but the years are short. Embrace every day.

If you’re a parent can you relate? Have you ever felt any of these feelings? Did you keep all your child’s baby clothes? Do you ever struggle to remember?

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Childhood Memories in a Box

A few weeks ago my Mum gave me a big box to take home and sort through. It was full of my school work from primary school and early high school that she had kept. It was so much fun to look through, my Sister and I were in fits of giggles. It appears we were both quite the storytellers.

Here’s a few golden nuggets I found:

Some beautiful self portraits…

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My year nine diary where my sports teacher had written on quite a regular basis

“Sarah did not bring her swimming gear today”

“Sarah did not bring a change of clothes for PE today”

I hated sport. Clearly nothing much has changed.

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But hey, at least I was up to date with my Geography homework.

My diary of a high school assignment where we were given an egg and had to pretend it was our baby for a week. The egg was meant to be a symbol of how fragile life is, especially in the early years. We had to take the egg with us everywhere and if we broke it, effectively we had killed our own baby. I think it was supposed to be a warning about teen pregnancy but I just remember it being lots of a fun! This was one of my daily diary entries…if only being a mum was this easy!!

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And the stories, oh the stories. Tons of stories I had written and made into little books with pictures on each page and staples down the side. The collection included such riveting titles as ‘The Big Mansion’, ‘On a Cold, Cold Day’ and ‘The Dog Called Spot’. I also found a two page essay on why McDonalds was my favourite fast food outlet and a rather disturbing story about a fictional plane crash I had supposedly survived. It started with the words “all my life I have been terrified of flying…” again, not much has changed. (Funny because I don’t remember being afraid of flying as a kid).

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Along with the stories there were so many reminders of how much I loved to write. A note on the back of a year twelve practice Enlglish essay where my teacher had written:

“I am so pleased with this Sarah. You are writing confidently, intelligently and referring to the test appropriately- it’s great! I don’t think you need me at all!!!” I remember feeling rather chuffed at that, I really looked up to my English teacher.

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And the results of a survey I took in year nine about what type of career I should have:

“Working with children or people” (tick!) “being creative with words and colours, communication.”

It also told me I would not be good at engineering or repairing machinery. So there you go, it appears a career survey taken when your sixteen can be very telling!

It was amazing how the memories came flooding back as I flicked through years of school projects. Things I had long forgotten but can now remember as clear as if they were yesterday. I threw out a bunch of stuff; maths books mainly but have kept a lot of it. I now hope to do the same for my son so he can look back on his childhood when he is an adult too.

Did your parents keep any of your school work? What did you want to be when you were a kid?

P.S- Have you entered my Mothers Day Giveaway yet? Head over here before Friday to enter!

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