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Looking Forward To Looking Back On Najwa’s Life

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Looking Forward To Looking Back On Najwa’s Life

There have been times when people have asked me about posting photos of the ladies online for the world to see or just blogging in general about so much personal stuff. Of course, when I think about what people post on their Facebook pages, this blog pales in comparison. And there’s nothing that I blog about that I wouldn’t tell someone about anyway.

But there is a reason I post so much about the ladies.

Going back a few years, my dad was in town and we were all sitting around and he started telling this story. When I was born, we were living in Korea, he being in the U.S. Army stationed out there. One day he saw something about a cutest baby contest and entered me. My dad was essentially still a teenager. Maybe 19. Maybe 20. Maybe 21. Regardless, he was still a kid. He said that was one of those moments he clearly remembers and how proud he felt to be a dad.

Fast forward a little and my mom is in town telling another story of back in those days when I was an only child. Najwa was just born, and my mom said something about not knowing how to change a diaper. Seriously? Apparently there were maids around when I was born and when we got to the states, there was family, babysitters, other people; I’m not sure who changed all those diapers, but my mom said she didn’t change a lot of diapers.

I did not know.

When I visited my dad in Arizona not as long ago, he told the story of our recent family history, how we are the descendants of slaves owned by a Mr. Gaines in Orange, Virginia. Or is it Orange County, Virginia.

I’m not a big fan of Najwa having a pacifier, but there was the time my mom told Nduku that when I was child, I refused to give up the pacifier.

I did not know.

When I think back on my past life, there’s a lot of blank spots. My earliest memory starts in Germany, where we were stationed. I was three. Maybe four. I look at some of the photos we have from those days and I barely recognize any of the people. Then again, since there wasn’t any social media, camera phones or even digital cameras to take as many photos as you want, there weren’t a lot of photos from those days.

Even when I was in high school, I don’t have a lot of photos of those days or my friends. And I took more photos than the average person. I just need to get the pictures printed from negatives since digital cameras were still not a common thing. Not for people on a budget at least.

Today, people post more photos in a month than their parents took their entire lives.

So, here we are, in 2013, and Najwa is no longer that tiny baby dozing [and waking back up!] every couple of hours. She’s reached an age when every day she surprises up with something new. New words and phrases and sentences, new things she’s learned like how to open the bathroom door while I’m doing number one. She’s silly, animated, so happy, always smiling, the highlight of the day, every day…

And I can’t figure out any other way to capture all these moments than to blog about them and preserve them in a blog. I like going back and watching video of her eating one long strand of spaghetti at Olive Garden, and the countless photos from our trips to Dubai, Romania and Kenya.

I still stare at the photos from the night when Najwa was born and reread the story of how Nduku and I met as well as the IMing chat that led us to where we are today.

Maybe when Najwa reaches that stage where it’s cool to be mysterious, she’ll ask me to take down all the posts about her. Since the day she was born. Understandable. But something tells me that the way social media is going, my blog will pale compared to the amount of content the next generation will be sharing. Najwa’s generation might view viewing photos as old school. It’ll be all about the video. Instagram will be to them like Polaroid is to us. Maybe they’ll be streaming live video of themselves on their social media page. Which will probably still be Facebook, but they won’t believe us when we say we didn’t have a dislike button. Surely there will come a day we can dislike stuff, right?

Life moves at the speed of life, which can feel like the speed of light if you’re not paying attention. One moment you’re creating a Facebook page and the next moment you have withdrawal symptoms when your job decides to ban it from the office. I still have a hard time believing it’s been more than 10 years [ok, since 1991] since the Redskins won the Super Bowl. And before you know it, there might not even be a team called Redskins ever again. How did we get here? And so fast? Can we have one more Super Bowl with the burgundy and gold before we become the Washington Chuckskins?

I look forward to that day Najwa and I can get online, start with Sept. 17, 2010, and relive her entire life, every minute moment that isn’t strong enough for the mind to remember but just as prominent as first words and walking when put in a blog post. And, of course, everyone’s invited to share these moments with us.

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