We were pretty lucky to see both sets of grandparents during these summer months...I say lucky because it isn't like we live near them: my in-laws are in California, my parents are in Virginia. For many, seeing Nana and Poppop is a daily or weekly occurrence, but for Kiddo, it's more of a weekly chat on the computer via that awesome Skype as the in-person snuggling only happens semi-annually.
At six, she's full of questions and it seemed that she had many for her grandparents about how birthdays were celebrated when they were growing up, or what I liked to do for Halloween when I was small, or how often my husband and his brother got into trouble during vacations. At one point, I was thinking about the best way to capture these traditions and memories she's asking about...how to keep them around so we would always have them to pass down to her kids. (Right, I know she's six and I can't even think about her going to first grade in a few weeks, let alone having kids, but you get what I'm saying.)
-- Get it in writing. One thing that is truly cool: looking at my own grandmother's handwriting in her daily journals and the few recipes I have of hers. Start a memory journal with protective sheets pages and ask your parents or close aunts and uncles to write down a favorite memory or family tradition or anything they want...slip the pages in there to have for years and years.
-- Video grandparents telling stories. Video is huge, as you get their voices and their own words recalling those milestones. If you need a springboard, break out their old photo albums to look through as you record them or have a list of questions, like their favorite pet, favorite outfit at age seven, first kiss, or a basic "day in the life" of when they were going to school or summer vacation.
-- Make a "treasure" chest. Get an archival box and start saving memories there. Maybe it's a coffee mug you used to drink soup out of as a kid or a jar with sand from a favorite beach your parents went on their first date, playbills of your mom's first Broadway show, a scarf your mother-in-law wore when she had her first job. Keep a little pad of paper in there to record what each item is and add to it as you add treasures.
-- Start your own journal or blog. You don't have to make it public, but taking a few moments each week or day to write some funny anecdotes of your kids to what is happening in your lives is a great record you will have to refer to later. Jot down what you remember of your childhood too, of your days before kids, of early days of being a mom.
How do you capture traditions and moments and memories...aside from whipping out that iPhone and snapping away? Share your best tips!