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Monday, October 3, 2016

The Versions Revisited

I retired my personal blog a couple of years ago, but at one point, it was a very big part of my life. The importance of capturing the details of my life - with all of their humor, fake drama, and sometimes real drama - loomed large in my priorities. And capturing the details of my children and how they were growing was part of that.

I started a regular series on my blog that took the form of Version Updates. Like software updates, with the latest advancements and continued operating failures. It started with Version 14.0, when my daughter was 14 months old. This, of course, led to some nice creative outlets and photoshop skill development. I eventually felt like my children had "graduated" from having such scrutiny and carried it through until each was around 3 1/2 years old (that's Version 42.0 for anyone counting). I hoped that one day, they would be thankful that I catalogued their journey through the early years of life and didn't think I had exploited them for entertainment and cheap laughs.

I published a book of my daughter's Versions posts to give to her, complete with a dedication in the front. I included that I hoped she knew that I wrote it all down in love and that I was laughing with her, not at her.

Well she's now 11. Almost as tall as me. Her feet are bigger than mine and she borrows my clothes. She's seen the Versions book of her and knows where we keep it in the bookcase downstairs in the playroom. The other day at dinner, she was mentioning the autobiography her class has been tasked to write as an assignment. My husband and I were playfully retelling some of her funnier moments at the table when she leapt up and ran downstairs. She came back with the Versions book and started reading at the table. Every so often, she would read a passage out loud, and we would all laugh. She flipped the pages and soaked up the words. Those words, my words, echoed all around us, delivered with her voice. It all came back - oh yes - you used to say that! The memories tumbled by, and I loved, loved that she was relishing in it.

After dinner as we were cleaning up, and she and I were alone for a moment, she said, "Thank you for writing this. It is very special." After a pause, she added, "Can I do this for my children too?"

My heart leapt. "Of course you can. I'm so glad you like it."

She carried the book off to her room, to later continue thumbing through it while lying on her bed. I'm not sure what I liked more about this: that she'll know herself and how she grew, or that she'll know the eyes her mama saw her with and the humor that narrated her story from the beginning.

8 comments:

  1. hi i think this a really great idea, i have a 8 month old son and would love to do something similar, do you have a sample of a blog post you wrote to her so i can see what the layout or the topics etc. look like

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    1. Sure - email me at mothersinmedicine@gmail.com and I'll find something to send you.

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  2. I loved Where's My Cape and Versions!! Such a great idea. I'm sure I have some great kid posts I could package and give as gift. Kids love to hear stories about them more than any toy or trinket. I've got a Christmas plan now:). Good to hear from you KC!

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    1. A number of companies will allow you to publish posts in book format. Just sent you a message. :)

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  3. I remember the versions! I loved those posts so much.

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  4. This is such a great idea! I did something similar with images, after reading this blog post. The author did a follow up post with more strategies for preserving those little memories. I made a book for first year and then fell behind on them. It is so precious that your daughter cherishes her book.

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  5. I love this story. I started one of those 1-line-a-day diaries for my daughter that goes for 5 years. I hope she loves looking back at what I wrote as much as your daughter does!

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