Why do I insist on doing all of the things? My daughter is still young, and some say she may not remember. Why do I stay up late to decorate a house so she wakes up to sparkling Christmas lights or decorating cupcakes with tiny bows made of chocolate and mini cookies to look like a certain female mouse? Why do I spend my spare time looking for new family activities to add to our annual lists or spend 20 minutes setting up for cookie decorating? Who really remembers the first time they meet Santa?
Some may think it’s because I love planning, organizing, and coordinating. They are not wrong; I have a passion for details, to say the least, and align closely with a “Type A” personality. But the deeper reason now that I am a parent is to keep the memories alive for later.
Her smile, her laughter, her intrigue, her innocence. These and so many other reasons are why. I do it to experience and watch the joy through her eyes, not only in the moment but later.
Sometimes, I know and admit I overextend and stress myself out to ensure things are magical for her. I want to make sure the moment is magical but also that we capture it through photographs and video, not for social media, though, but for her and for us.
Rewatching a video or going through photos of the past together is something we do almost nightly. Getting to see the joy in her eyes a second, third, and more times is almost as magical as the first. Reliving each moment captured is a blessing, letting it live, grow, and thrive forever.
I know my childhood had happy memories and moments of joy. As I get older, though, those memories fade. Life was different back then; our parents’ generations didn’t have a high-quality camera and video camera always in their pockets. There are some unorganized photos in a box in a closet. There are videos in a format that can’t be watched on any standard device.
So, I make a point of living in the moment, but also capturing that moment so we can keep reliving it day after day. So, hopefully, as she ages, the memories never fade for her but continue to grow and thrive as she does.
So yes, during the COVID-19 2020 shutdowns, her first Christmas at four months old, I was the parent who bought the Santa suit and whose husband so graciously agreed to wear said Santa suit so that we would have the memories and photos to look back on and remember together.
I encourage you to do the things that bring you joy and always be sure to capture the memory. You will never regret capturing the moments. The moments and memories live on forever through photos and videos.