Father Documents New Son’s Life Six Words At A Time
Parents who keep meticulous scrapbooks of baby’s first steps and first foods have a new bar to clear. Larry Smith, creator of the Six-Word Memoir project, has chosen a very unique method to capturing his new baby son’s firsts. Smith pens a six-word memoir to capture each milestone he and his son Lukas reach together.
Smith recently wrote a piece at Isis laying out some of his favorites, beginning with the day of his son’s birth during a snowstorm in January (â€œHitchhiked to delivery roomâ€”blizzard boy!â€). He offered some of his favorites with an explanation as to how they came about:
â€œPregnancy is Poetry. Parenting is Prose.â€
This six-worder is a play on former New York Governor Mario Cuomoâ€™s famous line, â€œYou campaign in poetry, you govern in prose.â€ When I posted this memoir to the site it was one of the ones that people most responded to, in part, I think, because the words both explain themselves and because you can create your own interpretation. For me, I have always put pregnant women (and especially my wife) on a pedestal: they just look so beautiful as they go through so many major mind and body changes. However dreamy that vision may be, once the baby arrived, I felt like it was all business.
â€œParenting: Idiot. Expert. Idiot. Expert. Idiot.â€
Itâ€™s amazing how some part of your babyâ€™s life consumes you. Like a lot of new parents, our baby had bad gas. For two weeks our whole life was about gasâ€”we read the books and the blogs; consulted doctors and friends; my little sister, mother of two small boys, would text over advice about techniques and gripe water. At some point we mastered gas, or maybe it just moved on, and I felt like I was Parent of the Year. Untilâ€¦the next mystifying thing happens. And Iâ€™m an idiot all over again. One suspects this patterns repeats it self for the next twenty or so years.
Smith’s little parenting gems not only provide a moving storyline to his own experience as a parent, but also distill his son’s life into poetry. Considerably more creative than saving ratty baby blankets and jars full of baby teeth like my mom did.