Learning “Mom” Skills:
Moms are typically much better than dads at preserving family memories. They adorn homes with photos, make scrapbooks and calendars, and store away keepsakes. In a sense, they are the historians of the family. Their dedication to capturing the family “story” is both unappreciated, and invaluable.
To my mom and to all moms, thank you for this amazing, thankless service that you provide for your family.
Originally, I thought I would talk a little bit about long and short term memory. I abandoned that pretty quickly, after doing some research on it. Instead, I am going to talk about memory from my own observations.
- I have these amazing and wonderful memories of vacations that I have taken with my children. Unless something or someone prompts me, I seldom think about those experiences anymore.
- When I do think about those wonderful experiences, I don’t recall all of the finer details that made it so wonderful. That too requires something or someone to prompt me. “Dad, do you remember where we were at Disney, and that giant bird swooped down and stole my hot dog right off my plate?” “Oh my gosh, how could I forget that! That was hilarious.”
I am not alone. My daughters are exactly the same.
Returning to our Prehistoric Roots
When I look at the cave art at the top of this post, I find myself thinking that this is really just scrapbooking, as it was done many thousands of years ago. People doing what people do, preserving family memories. Here is a conversation that just might have happened between a caveman dad and his son, as they gaze upon their cave art.
Act 1 Scene 1
Set in a cave in what is now known as New Mexico, 27,000 years ago. A thunderstorm is raging outside of the cave. A cave man and his 10-year old son are seated on the dusty floor of the cave, which serves as their home. The cave is illuminated by a small campfire. Father and son are gazing at the cave walls, which are covered with numerous cave drawings. It is a tender moment.
SON: (speaking to DAD as he rests his hand on DAD’S knee)…ug ug, hey DAD… this drawing? Why is hunter on back? Why is hunter not holding weapon? Ug.
DAD breathes in deeply and exhales with a sad sigh.
DAD: Ug ug. my SON… that is day gone bad. That was my brother,… he SON’S uncle. Bull stuck uncle with horns. Uncle fall down. Uncle did not get up. Uncle was dumb-dumb. Uncle ate crazy plant before he hunt bull. You know never to eat crazy plant and hunt. Crazy plant makes you not see things clearly. Crazy plant makes you slow. Uncle was dumb-dumb. DAD mad at uncle for being dumb-dumb, but DAD also mad at bull.
SON: What did DAD do to bull?
DAD: Look at this drawing. That is me and friends. DAD killed bull that day. DAD ate bull. Ug.
SON: Me love Dad very much. Me not like crazy plant. Me like not bulls. Me want to be like Dad when me grow up. Ug.
I think cave art was nothing more than a way for prehistoic man to preserve family memories. This stuff is so easy, even a cave man can do it!
Tips and Resources
Dads, it is time to return to our caveman ways, and become family historians. We live in a wonderful time; technology makes it easy to capture moments that will bring smiles of remembrance.
- At a minimum, take pictures and videos. If you are an iPhone user, set up your phone to automatically upload pictures to your iCloud Photo Library If you don’t know how, click here. I am not a droid guy, but I am sure there is something similar. Similar options are also available for Dropbox and Box.
- If you like prints, download and set up the apps for CVS, Walgreens or Walmart. There are all kinds of options there besides just prints. If you choose to do just prints, buy some scrapbooks. Your kids will love putting in the photos. I also suggest putting up photos around the house. Kids love to see their pictures on the walls of special moments. It makes them feel special.
- There are some really awesome digital scrapbook tools with free options. Click here to read this excellent blog post from FeltMagnet.
- Finally, get a plastic bin from Walmart – one for each child. They are really cheap. Write each child’s name on their bin, and keep someplace where it is easy to access. When you have those moments such as graduations or awards, throw the mementos in the appropriate bin. 20 years from now, that bin will be a treasure trove guaranteed to deliver smiles.
The most important thing we dads can do is to make memories with our children. If you want some memory making ideas, please check my series posts 52 Weekends of Making Memories With Your Daughter. Life is a bunch of sand castles. Every past moment washes into the sea. Keep building sand castles – keep making memories. And take advantage of these wonderful modern times, where it is easy to document those moments. The effort is easy, and the return is immense.
Life is a bunch of sand castles. Every past moment washes into the sea. Keep building sand castles, keep making new memories, and take advantage of these wonderful modern times, when it is easy to document those cherished moments. The effort is easy, and the return is immense.
John, a.k.a dadofthreewinds