I can remember the moment my daughter was born.
Soon after, holding her in my arms, I had so much I wanted to tell her. To show her. But she was barely thirty minutes old, and it would have to wait. Or did it?
That night, I headed home from the hospital and, instead of assembling all of the furniture that we had been putting off until the last moment, I did something that more than a few people would consider strange. I created an e-mail account for my newborn.
Everything I wanted to tell her could NOT wait
What if I forgot? What if something happened to me before I could tell her? I could be hit by a bus tomorrow. Then everything I had wanted to tell her would remain unsaid.
So many things could stop me from delivering the things I wanted to tell her.
So I wrote it all down in a letter. It is a strange feeling to be writing a letter to someone you will see the next day, yet will not read the letter for many years. I decided to give her the password to the account when she turns 18 or 21, and let her read the letters in her own time.
Each and every milestone
Over the months and now years that followed, I have written about my emotions, my feelings, my experiences. The milestones in her life, like her first steps, her first tooth or even her first grazed knee. The little things that we did last week, like going to the playground and watching her climb a ladder on her own. Or about a day at the zoo. Or the time we were both unwell. Where possible, I attach a photo or two, documenting her childhood for her to look back on later.
I also began listing all of the amazing one-line comments, questions or zingers that she has come out with. Little things that have made me laugh, that would otherwise be forgotten over time. There have been a few times where I have been writing a long e-mail to my daughter, only to realise she is sitting right next to me, blissfully unaware of what I am doing.
I have now passed the e-mail address on to my wife, the grandparents and uncles and aunts. They are all welcome to write to her. Imagine how she will feel when she eventually reads all of these letters, sees the photos and hopefully appreciates all the little things that her family do with her now.
Imagine the little stories that she will be able to read about, many of which will probably be forgotten beyond the most basic memory. She will read about the day in such detail, as it was written down soon after the event.
A digital time capsule
If you are about to have a baby, or have a young person already, I recommend doing this. It is essentially a time capsule for your amazing little person, but it is also a way for you, as a parent, to document your day, express your emotions, both good and bad, and to potentially leave a legacy for your child to share with their children or grandchildren.
An insight into everyday life at this moment in time, but with a personal and loving touch.
The best part? It is entirely free!