For nearly 4 years I had a rather high-tech system in place for keeping track of notes on things Kate loves, does, and says each month:
Whenever I noticed something new or laughed about something cute she’d said, I’d pull out one of those little 3×3″ squares of sticky convenience, jot it down, and then save it in a kitchen drawer or my wallet. When it was time to write one of Kate’s monthly posts, I’d pull out my colorful collection of notes, sort them by date, and string my words into sentences.
Truth be told, it was a rather archaic way of doing things. I worried often that I’d lose a slip of paper and it’d be that ONE THING I didn’t want to forget – poof! Gone forever. Each time someone opened that kitchen drawer to grab a pen or I pulled a dollar from my wallet with a folded up memory stuck to it, I’d think, “AGH! I really need a better system!”
When Kate was 3 1/2 I scrapped my Post-Its and started emailing myself these precious notes. I then compiled all of my electronic notes into Word documents, organized by month. I thought my new system was pretty slick.
[Insert Mom of the Year dance here.]
Then two things happened:
- I switched to gmail and deactivated my old email account.
- My computer crashed and my files got corrupted.
[Insert Pie Smashing Face here.]
Technology can suck it. I’m back to Post-Its.
My challenge now is to piece together almost 6 months of Kate’s life referencing only Facebook, Instagram and email updates to Grandma Pam. Based on that, here’s what I can tell you about Kate at 3 years, 6 months:
She loves stickers.
She loves bubbles.
She loves going to the zoo.
She loves water play.
She loves going to the playground.
She loves taking care of our raspberry bushes in the backyard.
She had a fun time having dinner with Grandpa Steve at the bowling alley, and ate pepperoni and popcorn.
This is not my finest hour.
Here, look at pictures:
One thing I do remember, quite vividly, is G and Kate surprising me at the airport when I returned home after 5 days in Atlanta for last year’s Haven Conference. It was a magical moment. I blogged about it back then in a Haven recap post, but I’ll repeat it here so it’s a part of Kate’s memory book as well:
…Two hours later my plane landed in Madison and I texted G to let him know I had landed safely and would be home soon. (My flight had left so early on Wednesday morning that I drove to the airport and parked my car.) G texted me back: “Hurry home 2 us” and it was all I could do not to have a meltdown over how badly I missed my family.
And then I saw them.
I was coming down the escalator toward the airport exit, and there were Kate and G. At the airport, waiting to greet me. G was holding a white sheet of paper that said “Rogers” and Kate was holding a green sheet of paper covered in stickers. I saw them before they saw me, and I had this moment where time froze and I realized, with 100% certainty, “This is one of those moments that will flash through your mind when you’re about to die as one of the highlights of your life.”
I didn’t want to have to wait that long to re-live it, so instead of sliding down the railing of the escalator to get to my family faster (a thought that crossed my mind – trust me) I snapped this one quick picture with my phone…
And quickly realized, “These sounds. THAT’S what I want to remember and re-live forever!” as I switched over to video and captured about 2 seconds of Kate’s beautiful, loving, emotional, and absolutely unforgettable reaction to seeing me return before I scooped her up in my arms:
Oh, these moments.
A few weeks ago I was reading Kate a book at bedtime and part of the story was a little girl who cried because she was so happy. “Why is she crying?” Kate asked in confusion.
“Sometimes,” I replied, “when you’re SO HAPPY…the happiness fills you up SO FULL that it has nowhere to go and it comes out of your eyes.”
“It’s a good thing,” I assured her.
I think she gets it now.