Appreciating the little moments is one of the great joys of grandparenting.
Appreciating the little moments is one of the great joys of grandparenting. filadendron

Memories of childhood can last forever if you put in effort

SAYING goodbye to our grandkids is harder than ever now they are becoming little people.

But it's also a lot more fun.

For so long a kiss goodnight or a wave goodbye was a bit one-sided. Now they love our goodbyes as much as we do.

What started as a simple kiss has evolved into a six-step routine. In no particular order we have a kiss, a hug, a nose rub, a high five and a thumbs up, and we have recently added a handshake to the routine.

Holding their chubby little hands in mine is just so sweet and watching them focus on doing it just right makes my heart melt.

It's such an old-fashioned gesture and sometimes I wonder if they will remember we were the first people they shook hands with.

Appreciating these little moments is one of the great joys of grandparenting.

I have forgotten so many things about my own kids' lives. Maybe it was because I was so deep in the muck of being a mum that there wasn't time to process all the moments, or am I just terrible at keeping a proper record of these things?

You know those baby books where you are supposed to record all the important stuff?

I have a book for each child and I "might” have recorded the very first word out of the mouth of my first child (or maybe I just filled in that blank space at some point), but after the first few pages there is nothing but blank spaces.

As for photo albums - the first child has a full album, the second has a partially completed album, but the third really missed out with little more than a box of pics documenting her early years.

When I did get around to doing an album for her 21st birthday, I realised how few photos we had and almost resorted to using a pic of her big sister to fill a gap!

Now the kids are having kids of their own, I keep getting asked questions like: what age did I take my first steps, what were my first words and when did I first eat Vegemite on toast?

As I tried to remember what answer I gave the last time they asked, I realise those baby books were more important than I thought.

Today's equivalent is the memory jar and I am a big fan.

It's much easier to write down the firsts as they happen, and pop a note in a jar that's kept out in plain sight, than rely on your memory or get "creative” decades later with those milestone moments.

And you can bet our farewell ritual is already in the memory jar.