Every time I take Little Dude to the Pediatrician – most recently last week for his 18-month checkup – I return home with a print-out of his measurements. I open up his baby book, search for the right page, and inevitably mutter to myself, “well shit, I haven’t written a word in here in months.”
Rather than letting the guilt eat away at me, though, I’m coming to terms with the fact that I’m simply not really what one would call a short-form writer. Instead, I’ve decided to play to my strengths, and to make up for being a total slacker in the baby book department by occasionally writing rather lengthy letters to my son.
When I print out each letter, fold it, and place it inside the baby book, it becomes a time capsule of sorts. I can’t help but wonder, who is it, exactly, that will someday be reading this? Writing to a future version of my little boy has become a fascinating writing exercise. After all, as I tell of our life together – peppered with bits of my own inner happenings – I’m not really sure of my audience. It certainly won’t be the one-and-a-half year-old whom I currently know so well who reads the words that I write today. Will he be in elementary school, when he takes an interest in his baby book? Or will he be a teenager? For all I know, he won’t read a word until he’s a father himself.
Perhaps, the most interested party will end up being none other than a doddering, old, white-haired me. But I guess that’s the kind of the point with a time capsule. I’m documenting the present, for one never truly knows what the future will bring.