So I have been blogging for two whole months now, and tentatively feeling my way around this new, shiny world. I have plucked up the courage to make a few comments on other people's blogs, and had a few comments back from other bloggers ( - thank you so much). I have spent more time than I actually thought I had to spare in visiting other people's lives by way of their blogs, and find it wonderful to know that there are so many lovely folk out there facing the issues and dilemmas I experience, getting irritated by similar things, and with aspirations and interests which I share.
In fact there has only been one only slight negative to my trawl through the blogosphere so far. Whilst I love the unique and adorable photos on Mila's Daydreams (do check it out in my blogroll if you haven't already found the site) I have to confess that it does makes me feel a bit crap that I didn't come up with the same idea. I have now had to add a new item to my general list of failures:
95. Is too frightened to unscrew the plughole to see why the bath isn't draining very well;
96. Has made fishfingers, chips and beans for the kids dinner three nights out of the last seven;
97. Frequently fibs to 92 year old Gran about how long it is since I last phoned her, on the grounds that she has a memory like Dory from 'Finding Nemo';
98. Did not spend maternity leave taking enchanting and beautiful photos of babies to cherish for all time, leading to deserved book deal, career change, lots of money and thereby avoiding the need to put babies into extortionate private childcare.
The thing I love about blogging so far is the fact of it being a new outlet for keeping a record of my life. As something of a compulsive record keeper this is heavenly to me!
I religiously kept baby books for both children, complete with locks of hair, scan pictures and hospital bracelets. My photographs are faithfully downloaded as soon as they are taken, the best photos are ordered online from snapfish, and upon receipt are put straight into photo albums. My children both have a large baby album recording their first year, and at Xmas I put together a new album for each with a photo from each month of the last year. I also write them a letter which is put in their memory boxes, and have also started a scrapbook to keep all important cards, tickets, invites and other general stuff in.
I am aware as I write this that a) it sounds like I am nauseatingly smug, and b) it also sounds a bit neurotic, and I want to make it clear that I am neither. There is no other area of my life where I am remotely as organised. I haven't hoovered for two weeks, I tend to blow dust out of the way as I pass rather than indulging in proper cleaning, and am utterly incapable of having a full fridge containing more than one option (usually involving cheese) for dinner at a time.
The reason for my compulsive record keeping comes from the fact that I lost my mum to cancer when she was only 42, and I was 21. Accordingly I lost the memory keeper for my childhood, and there is very little of it left. I want to make sure that my children have the evidence of their childhoods and of my love for them there whenever they want to have a look, or need reassurance that they were cherished. At all the big events in my life since mum died - graduation, job, house, marriage, birth etc I have had half a hope that there may have been something left for me from my mum - a letter of advice or congratulations written in the past to be given out in the future, but there wasn't.
I think it is only inevitable when you experience the early loss of a parent that you have a kind of fatalistic expectation that the same end will befall you. My husband gets exasperated and frightened if I occasionally indulge in this way of thinking, and I am 99% sure that I will live a longer and healthier life than my poor mum, but still it is nice to keep my thoughts, musings and memories in a form that can be easily accessed in the future.