Saturday, March 1, 2014

Second Time Around

I've been working on getting Carson's scrapbooks up to date today.  I've always enjoyed scrapbooking and, long ago, I set a goal to document the high spots of my children's lives from baby showers and leaving the hospital through driver's license and high school graduation.  I've finished Blair's books....a total of four.  Anything that happens to her from this point on will be up to her to remember the best way she can.  I'm working on Carson's third book.  I'm not telling you this because I need to be publicly recognized for the hours and hours and hours of tedious work and the hundreds of dollars spent and the sheer dedication that it has taken to fulfill this commitment to giving my children a historical record of their lives, but just sayin' so the worldwide web will know.

When I found out I was pregnant with our son, I told myself, right then and there, that I would not let my second child become one of those forgotten, little souls who has an empty baby book with only a couple of blurry pictures hanging onto its pages by yellowed tape.  You know the child who's taken to Olan Mills when he's one and doesn't return until his senior portraits.  You know, on Halloween, the child who is whatever her big brother was the year before only with the sleeves rolled up and a safety pin to tighten it up in the back.  The poor, undocumented souls can be found in their raggedy, stained car seats, wearing faded Keds with the scuffed up toes, sporting their brother's old jacket that had his name crossed out with black magic marker and theirs written neatly underneath it. 

I, being a loosely documented second child, knew something about these pains and the reality of rarely being photographed.   Don't get me wrong.....I had the most wonderful parents and I know that they were busy, back then, making a living and cooking and all the other things they did so perfectly well, but, on the rare occasion that they did snap a picture, my brother's big head was always in the middle of it like a big, pesky housefly stealing my moment.  I mean....really, could I not have a few pictures by myself?   It's like it was a waste of a flash cube if he wasn't in there too.  Let me pause here and give you some examples. 
 Ok, this one is cute and, granted, you do need to get an occasional sibling picture.   
Looks like they attempted one of me by myself here, but you know how those first children are.  He just couldn't let it go.   
 Well, here you do have to give him points for stealthiness. 
This would've been a cute picture of Joni on her rocking horse...but Tonto saw the camera and had to flaunt his archery skills.  
Oh look, it's Joni's 4th birthday. "Let's get a picture of her with her Cinderella cake........and her shirtless brother."
My older brother has a baby book that is bulging with information and keepsakes.  It's not that my baby book was just left blank, I didn't even have one.  I can assume that my younger brother didn't either.  I guess they were over the whole chronicle thing by the time we came along.  I suppose, as most weary parents feel, if you've recorded one child's first steps, the others can just gauge theirs from that.  "You probably walked close to the age your brother did."  I'll never know what my first word was either, although I can imagine it was a long and impressive one.
I can say that, as a second child with sparse records, I have filled out every single line in Carson's baby book with even some extra information written outside the margins and inside the back cover just for good measure.  He will never have a question about his development that cannot be answered in these annals of his personal history.  Even though his ultrasound picture predates the emergence of those detailed sonogram portraits they have today and makes him out to look like Fred Sanford with a nasty case of mumps, it's in there....glued down just a few pages over from the hospital bracelet and lock of hair.  I have succeeded in documenting my children's lives equally. 
I may be the topic of conversation between one of them and a psychiatrist one day as they're stretched out on a couch trying to determine where Davis and I went wrong, but won't be for this, at least.      





  1. I get this. I'm a firstborn, but I really wanted my kids to not be gyped...I bought identical baby books so I knew what had to be filled our when!

  2. That's awesome, Tara! Second born children everywhere applaud you :)