My newborn has an email account. He can’t even read […]
My newborn has an email account. He can’t even read or type, so what’s the point, you might ask. Maybe I’m just a geek that has to get his kids using tech gadgets as early as possible. Maybe it’s all part of my unorthodox educational strategy to make my kid proficient in computer programming before he enters first grade.
The real reason that all five of my children have email addresses is that I came to the conclusion a while ago that one of the hats I wear as the father of my family is that of family historian. I needed to find a way to document and preserve the stories of our family so that they could be passed on to subsequent generations. I’m not an “arts and crafts” sort of person, so scrapbooks didn’t really seem like the best tool for the job. I wanted to find a method for preserving stories that would make it easy for me to do regularly and also to preserve it well for generations.
A few years ago, I stumbled across this short video that Google put out to show how email could be a valuable tool for preserving memories. It gave me the spark of inspiration I needed. I already write emails all the time, so it would be easy simply to start writing emails to my kids. The storage space in an email account allows for the archiving of a vast quantity of pictures, videos, etc. That data is not susceptible to theft, fire damage or being misplaced as a physical hard copy of a book would be. This was the ideal solution I was looking for. So, I set up email accounts for my kids.
That was three and a half years ago. In the meantime, I’ve written almost 500 letters to my children. I have written to them about the loss of teeth, camping trips, major life decisions, lessons I’ve learned in life, all manner of day-to-day events, questions I have stirring deep in my heart and everything in between. I’ve also sent them many pictures and videos of sacred moments we have captured. Email has proven to be a very useful tool in doing my duty as family historian.
I am willing, and even excited, to put in the time and effort to do all of this recording of history because I believe that knowing one’s family story is vital to creating a good future. Knowledge of our history is the most important resource for making good decisions for the future. It is also the main ingredient in the glue that holds families together, as can be seen in this article.
Sure, our days and nights are consumed with diaper changes and feedings and so forth, but my mind is more occupied with scenes from this time that I can preserve for the benefit of future generations of our family.