Capturing Childhood

Childhood is a special part of life. I look at my own children and I wish time would just stand still. I don’t want them to grow up, and lose their innocence. I don’t want them to stop thinking I know everything, and I especially do not want them to move out! But, growing up is a part of life. And yet, part of the reason I scrapbook is to try to make those moments and memories stand still forever when my children are young.

That is the beauty of scrapbooking. It is more than just putting photos in an album. While my Mom was an avid picture taker, and did very good at keeping artwork, and special things I made in school, I wish that I had even more insight into what kind of toddler, and child I was. I have a horrible memory, and wish that I could capture more of my childhood memories and thoughts now that I have children of my own.

I also think about my parents. I wonder what they were like as little kids. And, imagining your grandparents as children sometimes seems almost impossible! And, if you take it back even further and look at old photographs of your ancestors, there are always children in the photos. But, not much written about the day to day life of that child. Were they happy? What did they like to do for fun? Childhood is a universal state of being and it needs to be captured to make a heritage album complete.

It is easier in this day and age to keep track of our children’s accomplishments. Between blogging and scrapbooking, I keep a lot of information on my children and what they are up to at each stage in life. At the same time that I dread it, I look forward to the day when I am old, my children are grown, and I can look through albums at my short time I had with them and remember what they were like.

When interviewing someone about their childhood, or interviewing your own children, think of using some of the following questions:

What was your favorite age and why?

Did you have a favorite pet? What was the pet’s name?

What did you want to be when you got older?

What was your favorite toy?

What was your temperament like as a child?

What did most people say about you?

Who was your best friend? What did you do together?

What was your favorite book?

What was your favorite family vacation?

What was your most memorable birthday?

How many siblings did you have?

What was your favorite subject in school?

The list could go on and on. So, if you’re wondering where you should start scrapbooking, start with childhood. Whether it be your own, your parents, or your grandparents, start asking the questions that will uncover what kind of children they were, and what kind of childhood they had. Or, better yet, start trying to ask yourself these questions and document your own childhood! It will be a treasure to you and your family for a long time to come!

Meredith Ethington is the author of this blog. To learn more about Meredith, and her history with Scrapbooking and Genealogy, go here.

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