"So much of our early gladness vanishes utterly from our memory: we can never recall the joy with which we laid our heads on our mother's bosom or rode on our father's back in childhood; doubtless that joy is wrought up into our nature, as the sunlight of long-past mornings is wrought up in the soft mellowness of the apricot; but it is gone for ever from our imagination, and we can only believe in the joy of childhood."
George Eliot, Adam Bede
Conscientious parenting begins before our children are born. Writing a pregnancy and birth journal can help to create wonderful memories for our babies. My own children loved it when I read my journals aloud at bedtime.
Sarah would ask, “What did you do before I was born?” She was fascinated to hear about what daddy and I had done in those weeks of waiting in the August heat. She loved hearing that she had tried to forge her own path out of my body. "You wanted to come out facing forward, so you wouldn't miss seeing a thing! But you finally spun around and came out with a splash!"
“Read the part about how I peed all over you!” my four-year-old son would laugh. Then I read to him, “The midwife told me to open my eyes and look down. Someone held my head and helped me to curl around my tummy as you tumbled out onto my leg. You were so heavy and slippery. Then you peed - so hot! - up my body. And we all laughed! And your daddy cried as he called out - It’s a boy! We couldn’t believe it. We were sure we were having another girl. Then we said your name - Alexander.”
These stories are like family rituals, forming a strong core onto which all the other family memories bond.