“Machine! Are you?!” Zacharie screamed as he ran through the concourse of the Vancouver International Airport.
He was re-enacting a scene from a family movie I had made 7 years earlier.
“That’s why I blog,” I thought, as I saw him laughing, pretending to be 2 years old again. Because I started this blog, I have that video, I have that memory, we have this story to tell.
I started scribbling out little notes in a .mac website about Zacharie before he was ever born, all to catalog, organize, and save memories about my life as a parent.
I started blogging to create a digital scrapbook of my sons’ lives the same way my grandmother painstakingly created a physical one for me.
I blog so I don’t forget. I blog so I can remember. And sometimes what I blog becomes the foundation of a memory for my sons when no real one exists.
I remember my trip to Disneyland at 5 yrs old, not because of actually remembering it, but because of the photos and the scrapbook my grandmother built for my trip my grandmother built for my trip.
My memory of the trip has been recreated by constantly looking at the photos and reading the stories she saved.
And now I’ve done the same for Zacharie. He is almost 10, an age where I actually remember things that happened in my life, but he has ‘memories’ of things all the way back to the beginning, because I blogged.
“Machine! Are you?!??!” he giggled again, trying to sound like a toddler.
When we found this luggage trolley, he humoured me and posed for a photo of it before asking if we could go upstairs back to our hotel room in the airport.
I asked him if he actually remembers chasing after the machine when he was a kid. “No,” he confesses.
I’ll admit I was a little heartbroken by the manufactured enthusiasm he was showing earlier. While my sons appreciate the videos to show them how things were once, they don’t actually remember them. They’re just humouring me to relive my memory, not their own. I have manufactured memories for them because of this blog in the same way my grandmother did for me with scrapbooks.
Sure, my boys don’t really remember, but they have fun pretending to remember, they appreciate the chance to look back and see what they were like.
And the more I remind them, the more we build new things that actually do remember; like running around airports pretending to be a toddler.
And now, as I watch my sons growing faster than I’d ever have imagined, I’m reminded of a quote from Ken Dryden‘s The Game. I chose it as my grad quote for my Grade 12 yearbook some 20 years before becoming a father. I had no idea how prescient it would become.
I want everything to stop. I want to remember.
That’s it right there, that’s why I blog about my kids.
I blog because it’s a chance to stop time and travel to any era I want. I blog so I can remember and my kids can see and then, perhaps, have a few of those memories imprinted.
And it’s worked, I think to myself, as I watch Zacharie run off again chasing after a beeping luggage cart in an empty airport late at night.
Disclosure: We were guests of Tourism Richmond on our stay. I spent nearly 2 decades growing up in the city and I’m grateful for the chance to have gone back to see how my old hometown has grown up and I hope you enjoy the throwback stories Richmond has inspired.
Love this, it’s exactly why I started my travel site! I always tell people it’s my online scrapbook, and I’d do it whether anyone was reading or not because it’s essentially a summary of all my great vacations 🙂
Thanks! I’m so glad you’re sharing your scrapbook too…