I walked into my bedroom the other day and saw my three year old son going through a technical book I was reading. He often picks up my books, but never pays much attention, so his look of determination made me wonder what he was doing. As I got closer I realized that he was unfolding the bent corners of all of the pages I had 'dog-eared' to reference later.
He looked up sweetly and said "Dad, I fixed your book!". I couldn't help but say "thank you!".
That experience was just one of the tiny treasures of being a parent. It might not be significant in the grand scope of life, but it's just one thing I love about him.
I thought of everything else that I love about him; how every day he makes me laugh at something or expresses a new piece of his personality. I realized that years from now I may forget some of these tiny idiosyncrasies, even though they're important to how I know him and our interactions. It dawned on me that I really do find something new and amazing about him every day, so why not keep track? That's when I came up with the concept of the 365 Things Project.
The Project basically entails keeping a daily log of one trait or interaction with your child that is special or unique. It's a journal of 365 things you love about your kids. I use a spreadsheet to keep track of everything and make sure I'm up to date. I add a new line every day, usually in the form of sentence beginning with "I love that..." or "You made me laugh when..." There will be days when you're frustrated and want to kill them, but this will help you to see the positive side of things.
I strongly encourage every other parent out there to try it. At the end of 365 days you'll have a funny keep sake of all the wonderful little experiences you've had with your kids over the course of the year. I'm looking forward to reflecting on my son's hobby of flattening folded pages, his love of the color yellow and his tendency to smack the TV when 'bad' characters come on.