Last night, just before we left my parents' house after our Christmas gathering, the girls started asking to hear funny or embarrassing stories about themselves when they were little. There are the go-to stories that they've heard a hundred times - the stories that are forever seared into the forefront of my brain, the stories that immediately come to mind that in many ways define not only their childhood but also my role as their mom. They didn't want to hear those stories last night. They were ready to hear something new. Struggling to come up with an instant story to tell, I looked across the living room and saw five books that I knew would immediately provide an endless supply of stories.
I have "published" this blog into hardbound books, one for each year that I've been writing it through 2011. Like the blog itself, years 2012-2014 have been sort of ignored but I have big plans to put these into book form as well. So, last night I pulled out the book for 2009 and started flipping through the pages. As suspected, it didn't take me long to find a story to read to them about Elaina who at that time was almost three years old and probably at her peak of sassiness. As I read that story to them followed by another one about a four-and-a-half year old McKenna, they laughed at memories that they didn't retain but that came flooding back to me as I relived them through the words I had written in those moments.
What I realized yesterday, what I've known all along, is that this blog's posts mean so much more to me now that I ever anticipated them being when I started writing in 2007. This blog, these stories, are maybe the most precious archive I could ever create for my girls. I'll forget (and have forgotten) many of the moments with them that mad me laugh, and cry, and yell, and rejoice, but a simple turn of a page will bring many of them back. What I also realized is that these stories are still happening every single day, and while I'm living them I miss writing about them as a way to relive them again someday. The girls' stories are so different now than they were in 2007. Their stories now are about why we don't download Snapchat with first asking for permission or why holding the title "Diva" is not necessarily a positive. It's sharing the story of teaching one daughter cuss words and their meanings and the other daughter slang words for male anatomy (and then laughing hysterically as they use them with perfect comedic timing days later). Their stories are beginning to weave a tale of how we all navigate new terrain as life with two budding preteens (and lived to tell about it, so far at least). These stories are just as important to me and to them, and I need to make it my priority to document these tales as well for them to revisit in the future.
My stories are important to them so that they can vividly remember their stories. But my stories are also important so that they can read about it through my words, so that they will hopefully not only recall the events but then also understand the emotion that those moment evoked for me as their mom. I've said it before here, but after last night I know that I need to come back to this space to document our lives.
Sharing our stories again with all of you who have been there since the beginning is exactly what I intend to do.