Shortly before the birth of my son, Mom handed me an 8" x 8" baby-blue book that was engraved with scratches and framed in worn edges. When I cracked it open, the yellow pages with faded ink on them made me feel like I should be wearing gloves -like I was holding something that shouldn't have been removed from a glass case in some museum.
It took a moment for me to realize that I was looking at a complete handwritten, unabridged biography of my first days of life. I immediately recognized Mom's beautiful cursive scrunched down to fit as many juicy tidbits of info about me as possible on each page. Once again, Mom had amazed me.
Mom logged that my first smile was on November 29, 1966. My first words were "Da-Da" and "Hi." There were facts about me that neither my mom nor I would ever have remembered. I not only learned that my first haircut happened at 15 months but I noticed Mom's pride when she squeezed "No crying, very good," into the margin beside that fact.
I perused every note in my baby book, fascinated with the detail my mother had taken and grateful for each of her entries.
My wife gave birth to our son, Warren, last month. As my Mom was saying good bye after her first visit with her newest grandson, she looked at me and my wife and said, "Keep us updated as often as you can." This request, mixed with the impact Mom's book had on me, sparked an idea. My wife and I decided to begin a "blog" to keep family updated on Warren's day-to-day progress.
"Blog," if you haven't heard the term, comes from "Web Log." It is simply web-based journal used to publish thoughts and opinions on the Internet. Blogs are designed to be updated regularly and most allow for readers to post comments to each blog entry.
Blogging software is abundant. If you have even minimal web design experience, you can probably set up your own blog with free software from WordPress (www.wordpress.org) or Serendipity (www.s9y.org) and many other sources. If you prefer the "no-technical-knowledge-needed" route, you can be blogging in a matter of minutes using a free service like www.blogger.com.
Since setting up our blog, my wife has been taking time each day to blog details of our son's life. Interested family (like Grammie) and friends can go to our blog site and feel updated. Granted, some details are less significant than others -he may enjoy reading about the morning he squirted his mom during the perfect window of time during a diaper change more than the first day a giggle accompanied his smile -however, we hope he will appreciate the care and diligence that was taken to log his biography as much as he enjoys reading it.
If you have family or friends who may enjoy reading about the happenings in your life, you might consider using a blog instead of a penned diary. Your entries will be more easily shared with others and decades from now you won't need gloves to handle it.