Today's guest blog is written by Ava Baker at Ava Violet Photography, a busy mum of 3 and an award winning baby photographer. We met when she took photos of my little Ava as a newborn; we were her first shoot after the lockdown rules eased and she was absolutely brilliant with my new baby girl. To see her work or read this blog on her page go to Ava Violet Photography.
When I was pregnant with my first child a friend of mine suggested I should start a memory book to record my baby’s first year.
I initially thought it was a good idea, but then my daughter was born, and with all the best intentions in the world, it got side-lined to sleepless nights, nappies and endless feeding.
I had no energy or will to remember to write a cute story of how she was sick in her dad’s mouth at 5 o’clock in the morning when he was trying to burp her while lying down!
But I persisted.
Writing and collecting photos.
Spending valuable time documenting every detail in my book when I should of been folding baby grows.
Then my second child was born.
I knew that after the fog of a new baby lifts there was no way I could remember those little details. This time round I knew how important a memory book was, any why I created a memory book for each of them.
I lovingly documented their first year in this world.
It holds little trinkets and LOTS of photos. It reminds me of countless memorable moments, their first words and funny little stories that have faded over time.
I have a lock of their hair carefully preserved, collected from the hairdressers floor of each of their own 1st haircuts. Something I at the time, compared a hair trim to cutting off a limb.
How does a haircut become so emotional?
Every now and then I pull out these books and read each one like it was the first time I had set eyes on them. I turn each and every page with a smile and reconnect to a moment that I had lost to the back of my mind.
I study the pictures it holds with new appreciation at how tiny they were, how they were so similar and yet so different.
And although I remember those moments captured in those precious photographs, somehow those memories have blended, and I struggle to remember which child belongs to which moment. Something which was highlighted by the subjects of these books, my now 18 and 12 year old.
They are both curious of themselves of a time that they don’t remember.
They absolutely love going through the memory books and discovering a bit about themselves that they do not know, asking questions and laughing at their dad’s hair and my “dodgy” outfits.
Which I try to explain, with too much enthusiasm, that it was the height of fashion in “those days”.
I created those books, crammed full of memories, to immortalise a precious moment in my life to forever look back and remember my babies.
But in doing so, I created a record for my children to learn something of themselves that they have no recollection of.
And seeing how much pleasure and discovery these simple books give to each of them makes these books one of the most valuable, treasured and irreplaceable items that I possess.
Are memory books worth the effort? Yes they are.