A photo can only capture part of the memory. An annual tradition of recording a birthday interview with your kids allows you to remember so much more.
Remember when your kids were babies and everyone told you the years go by so quickly? Except at that point in your life you were so overwhelmed with the constant attention that babies require, and all that on just a few hours sleep, that it actually felt like the days were moving in slow motion.
I definitely remember feeling that way. Yet here I sit, with my first baby about to turn 16, wondering how we got here so fast. Now I find myself warning new moms that the time goes by quickly. And they give me the same skeptical look that I gave others all those years ago.
A few days ago I was searching for something in a closet and came across a few photo albums from when the kids were toddlers. Looking at old pictures always brings back great memories, but they are only part of the story. A photo may remind us of a funny facial expression that one of our kids used to make or cause us to think back to the annual trip to the pumpkin patch. But there is so much more to those snapshots in time that a camera just can’t capture.
I like to keep track of our family’s memories in a number of different ways (including this method), and the birthday interview tradition is definitely one of them. Every year on each of the kid’s birthday (or maybe 2 days or a week later if I maybe, possibly, forgot….it’s still close enough!) we get the camcorder out and record an interview with the kids.
The interview is recorded based on questions that I have preprinted on a piece of paper. I like to be a little creative when I come up with the list so I can be sure and capture parts of their daily life that we might otherwise forget. For example, I like to ask them their favorite movie quote.
Does your family include random movie quotes in your everyday conversation? Answering a question with “Yeah. Why?” in a quick, whispery, quizzical voice still happens regularly at our house 3 years later (please tell me you knew I was quoting Olaf, and please tell me we aren’t the only ones that still do!).
Those are the types of memories that you can capture in a birthday interview, but not in a photo. Your questions will vary from the more basic when they are young to ones that require a little more thought as they get a little older. I’ve compiled a list of possible questions below that I hope you find useful in your own birthday interviews. Click here for the free printable version!