By Blake Eligh
I had one of those “the years are short” parenting moments recently, and it left me a little teary. I was listening in as my 5-year-old daughter chattered to her dad in the kitchen when it hit me that she suddenly sounds so very grown up.
When she was tiny, she asked for “o-pa-meal” for breakfast, and had “truvvle” putting on her own shoes. She could name the “plow-nets” of the solar system, and loved to sing, “Land of the silver birch, CHOME of the beaver.” Those adorable verbal glitches have all but vanished from her never-ending chitchat.
I love how she’s developing, but I miss the baby she once was.
It made me think of this amazing recording that I first heard in an WNYC RadioLab podcast:
Sound engineer Tony Schwartz recorded his niece’s voice over 13 years and strung clips together to make a kind of audio growth chart. The recording compresses her childhood into two short minutes as she ages from wailing newborn to hair-obsessed tween.
I have loads of movies of both of my girls and think I could create something similar using audio from the clips and the digital editing program on my computer. It would be a nice addition to the photos and mementos I keep for the girls. My mum has tapes of my siblings and me from the same ages and we love to hear them now that we’re all grown up. A deadline of 13 years seems doable, no?