Monday, November 29, 2010

If I Could Save Time In A Bottle: Time Capsule

Today is the last day of November, the last square on Thing 2's baby calendar. As such, it is time to add the calendar to the pile of objects and papers I have stashed away over the past year to put into her time capsule.

I wish I could say I was the brilliant person who thought up this idea; but actually, the whole thing for us started when Thing 1 received a time capsule kit as a baby gift. Smart smart smart. Inside the metal canister were all the stickers and calendars and what-not a crazy first-time mommy like me needed to capture every special moment. Not that our first born wouldn't be captured on film nearly every moment anyways....thank goodness for digital!

Inside that kit was also a list of suggested items to include, like a pay stub, electric bill, any thing of historical importance.

As is often the case with the next child, the "newness" of having children has worn off a bit (at least for your friends) and I did not receive a kit for Thing 2. And while I would have liked to keep things even-steven for them, I knew I would probably not be able to purchase the same thing either.  (May my sweet babes forgive me!)

Instead, I saved everything I could, I kept a calendar, I recorded moments and pictures and took notes and folded away little hats and onesies from the hospital. And I saved back a container I thought could handle a "transformation" of sorts. Thing 1 had a shiny aluminum tin; Thing 2 has a giant cheeseball container. (*I'm pretty sure I'll be paying for somebody's therapy).
My original idea was to use spray adhesive and glue a piece of cute vinyl tablecloth to the outside. That was a disaster. Fortunately, it came off really easily.
Which left me to resort to my old friend-spray paint. You betcha.

After that, I did a simple design with paint splatters because, while I'm handy in the kitchen, I can't free-hand paint anything recognizable. I also labeled the lid for when the capsule was to be opened....a number that seems incomprehensible to me, but if there aren't flying cars by then, I'll be kinda pissed.

In the end, I have a few suggestions if you would like to try this idea:

First, pick a container that is at the very least, water resistant.
Be sure it is large enough for everything you want to add, and the opening at the top is large enough to accommodate your items.

Secondly, label everything because when the time comes, you might not remember why you saved something. I also labeled the cd's in case technology is too advanced to open my sad little disk (the 8 track of my time?).

Third, include notes of historical importance-like when famous people died or election results. Try including how much your income was at the time and what utilities cost or staple items like the price of milk, bread and eggs. It might not seem significant now but....when I think back to the time my Dad was making $75 a week, I'm stunned.

Fourth, set a date for when the capsule can officially be opened. My daughters can open theirs when they are 16. Which will probably be about the time they are all angst ridden and think the world is against them. I totally plan on making them sit down alone and go through it all. I want them to know I loved them from the moment the pregnancy test was positive. That I always wanted them.

Last, the obvious stuff-the first little hat, first pair of shoes, a newborn diaper (was her butt really that small?), certificates from your church. I have all the wrist bands and paperwork from the hospital, including the tag that went on the hospital bassinet. Have the grandparents and/or godparents write a letter for them to read later.

And, while the time capsules are sealed for my little creatures, I still keep a calendar in each of their rooms to document everything that is going on with them now. They'll know what they were doing when Ronald Reagan died and J D Salinger. They'll know what the first day of school was like for them and how often their grandparents came to visit and what the weather was like the day they learned to ride a bike. Because childhood is fleeting; because every day I get to wake up under the same roof as these remarkable people is a gift to me.
celebrate the little things too


Mother B said...

This is just about the most beautiful thing in the world you could do and I am so sorry that I never thought of it. You are such a good, good Mommy......what a special gift it will be on that!

Mother B said... mind was working faster than my hands......

betty crocker said...

which is why instead of a pile of stuff, you saved all our pictures and "poetry" and essays in bags in the closet, and made all our clothes, and grew and preserved 3 gardens' worth of food and skinned chickens and made jam and stayed home so you could ask us how school was, while looking us in the eye instead of working out of the house, making economic sacrifices I still don't fully know of.
Yes, Momlikins, why didn't you do this for us?
I love you.

ash said...

this is so great...

word verification: coexpled (the emotion i feel after reading this...)