By Chris Roth
Sending my son to daycare for the first week was a terrifying experience. The little baby that was home every day for the first three months of his life was now entering public society where he would form his first friendships; learn how to read and write; and grow into an adult. From the very first time my wife and I picked him up after school we received daily activity reports. These small tablet pieces of paper became the connection we had to every hour we were away. They provided a record of the days he reached the major milestones of crawling, walking, and formulating his first words. They are now stored in his baby book beside many other firsts in his life: first artwork; ticket stubs from his first baseball game and airplane flight; and most importantly, pictures of his first year of life.
Each year when I return to my parent’s house for the holidays, I am thankful my mother kept a file folder full of paper from each year of my life. I enjoy going through my old class photos; report cards; local newspaper clippings; and reports on bald eagles and my genealogical history. I look back to my elementary school handwriting and see how much it has not changed. These memories preserve that path my life has taken and show even though I feel I’ve changed - I’ve remained the same in many respects. One day I hope my son, as well as my newborn daughter, have the same appreciation to the pieces of paper my wife and I will save for them over the next two decades of their lives.