My childhood bedroom is preserved in its original state; the clay mask I made at art camp, the books I loved as a student, old journals, folders of drawings and paper dolls. Around the house on shelves, walls, mantelpieces, and furniture tops the cream of the photo crop is lovingly displayed. I have to thank my mother for her role as family archivist. Those artefacts create a powerful sense of self, place and most importantly, family. It’s all there in our family home, waiting to be pored over and shared with the next generation.
Sometimes the old ways are the best ways, and with the advent of the Internet, it’s become so much simpler to preserve all those sweet childhood memories. Let’s take a look at some old-fashioned and new-fangled ways to put childhood on record.
Portability and durability are important concerns for any childhood documents, but for the measuring wall they’re a must! The wall which displayed all of our growth spurts and plateaus unfortunately ceased to exist when our reception rooms were knocked together and remodelled. And of course most Beijing families are nomadic; Beijing today, Oman tomorrow. Modern global gypsies don’t always have the luxury of space and rootedness.
So rather than marking up your paintwork and losing it all when you move home, make a height measuring board or chart.
On birthdays, the first day of the school year, or just because you know they’ve notched up another inch, draw a new line for each child, noting the date and occasion.
Artwork, graded papers, and handmade valentines all compete for space on the family fridge. Galleries of your children’s creativity and achievements are ever changing, and the old must make way for the new. Boxing and keeping everything they create adds up to a storage nightmare. Keep the standouts in hard copy and scan, photograph and store the rest. Your kid’s digitized masterpieces can be uploaded to instagram, flickr or Facebook.
Photo Books and Scrapbooks
Many families have reams of beautiful family memories, all frozen in digital amber on their hard drives. Release your memories by making photo books and scrapbooks. You can make beautiful pieces to gift or cherish at Shutterfly, Snapfish, Scrapjazz, or Scrapbook.com.
Photo courtesy of archetypefotographie, flickr.com