Being Your Family’s Documentarian
Being Your Family’s Documentarian
By Cass Comerford
This job normally falls on the shoulders of Mom’s. Not only are we tasked with laundry, groceries, meal preparation and a host of other tasks but we’re also our families’ documentarian. Its our little stories that will get passed down and shared, it’s the glimpses of our lives that we snap in a camera frame that will spur a memory of a treasured day and it’s likely our effort that will have a box of mementos in a linen closet to look through decades from now. I wanted to put together a list of tips to keep the job of documentarian fun and top of mind.
1. Use a tool like Evernote, a blog, a notebook anything to write down fun little moments, glimpses into the every day, a reaction to a birthday gift. Just write it down – a few words to trigger the memory. Here’s more on how I do that.
2. Pick up a plastic storage bin and keep it in a hall closet, as little pieces of memorabilia come up toss them in the bin (Our family holiday card, the tickets to Lexi’s first circus, the Polaroid from her first haircut with a lock of her hair taped to the back). At the end of the year go through the box – if it’s too much to store then weed it down (but take pictures of the stuff you’re getting rid of) and seal it up in one of those large Ziploc bags and label it with the year.
3. Take pictures. I think taking pictures is a great gift to yourself and to your future….I find that it makes me take in the moment, it forces me to be present in a way that I wouldn’t be if I were just observing. Behind the lens of a camera I can appreciate the icing up to the elbows….where I otherwise might be more concerned about finding a baby wipe. Pictures are not just for the special days; they’re for the everydays. A couple of tips, get down to whatever level the action is happening on, turn off your flash and turn on all of the lights in the house and occasionally go for the shot without the cheese faces…a serious girl doing a puzzle is often much better then a cheese face.
4. Create fun days. Doing fun things sometimes takes some effort – not necessarily a lot of money – but effort. A scavenger hunt, a surprise fancy dinner, a picnic, a tent set up in the basement for a mock-camp out, making surprise cards for loved ones, a walk outside where you look for butterflies and birds, a stack of old blankets and the challenge of BEST FORT EVER! Take the time to make these moments happen…not just because it’s fun for your kids but because it will be fun for you too.
5. Laugh. I remember one day when Lexi was really young we went to Target. About half way through the store she started with the shoulders up business face…any mom knows, shoulders go up and you’re in trouble. It was a mess. It was a bigger mess then I could even begin to handle. It would require a hose. I laughed. I was mortified. But I laughed because I was sure one day I would find it hilarious…and why not start today. Laughing turns things around. Just laugh, let the funny part of it frame your memory.
What do you do to serve your family as documentarian?
Give Back To Ovarian Cancer Research
Take a minute to give back. Go to Kelly Ripa’s Cake Off For A Cause http://www.kelly-confidential.com/rd/0003/ from February 10th to the 19th. Why? Because Electrolux will donate $1 to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund for every vote cast in the Cake Off. You will also get great tips on baking from Kelly and the Cake Boss himself. And don’t forget to enter to win yourself an Electrolux Induction Range