Create a Personalized Book For Your Child
Randy and his children
Randy Pausch and "The Last Lecture" became a phenomenon. A professor wrote his last lecture after he got news of his terminal cancer. His lecture spread across the web, he was a guest on the Oprah show among other TV programs, and also made into a wonderful book titled The Last Lecture.
The lecture was originally written for his children who were very young. He didn't have a lot of time, but he decided instead of spending all his waking time with his family, he would devote some of that time to creating a written legacy to leave for is children. They were under five years old and he knew they would not remember much of his physical presence now. He felt a deep need to leave behind something that would last longer- a marked impression and something that would answer their questions someday about who their father was.
After seeing his lecture on tv several times and reading his book as well, I learned two things- one; we really don't know when our time is up- Randy was a healthy guy prior to his cancer diagnosis and two; if we have kids, they deserve something special from us, something lasting, tangible and priceless.
Personally I love to write and I love my daughter so why not write something for my daughter? And so I did. The inspiration came to me three months after my daughter was born when my husband and I decided on the people who would care for our daughter in the event of our death. During this time period, Randy's lecture was all over TV and I got to writing a book for my daughter.
There are things we want our children to know about life and about us and especially what they mean to us personally. Truth is, nobody knows when their time is up and so many of us have young children like Randy Pausch did.
Creating a book or written account of our life and our children's is the best gift we could give them. They may or may not appreciate it when they are younger, but they are guaranteed to someday. Even if you should live to a ripe old age, this gift to them will, at the very least, make them feel special. As parents we dote on those hand made items from our kids, and that's what a piece of writing can be from you to them.
Where to Start...
If you think writing a book for your child seems like an impossible feat, I have some easy ways you can create a hand-made masterpiece:
If you Like Writing or Journaling; Break it down into a daily or weekly journal assignment. Get a notebook and begin brainstorming several questions or topics that are important to you, life in general, or specifically important for your child to know. Once you start, the ideas flow, especially if you love to write anyway. After reading The Last Lecture, I was full of ideas. This was not a last lecture to Randy, it was a last chance for him to share his life and wisdom.
Some of the topics he covers are; achieving childhood dreams, lessons learned, our direct and indirect involvement in others' lives, a guide for our children's life, overcoming obstacles, and personal beliefs. One of the first discussions in the book asks us to realize what is unique about us, about our children.
Once you've got several questions written down, begin writing the answers thoughtfully. This whole process took me 6 months, which may have been shorter, but I had a new baby. I went to my local Kinkos and had them bind my typed pages into a book. I left some entries written for authenticity and a personal feel to it.
Other Creative Routes...
Randy mentioned he wanted to create something for his children that he was great at- that was lecturing since he was a professor. He stated some people are gifted in other areas, such as photography. If photography is your gift, as I am truly appreciative of pictures that speak louder than words, then the perfect resource for your creation is http://www.blurb.com .
One of my friends created a book through this website and included some written words, but mostly photographs and it turned out beautiful when her book was completed. It's a website that can create regular written books or photographic books- both finished products look immaculate.
Some would say the alternative to all of this is scrapbooking, but it is really an expensive hobby and even more time-consuming than writing an actual book. Also, scrapbooks don't last as well as a professionally bound and finished book.
Whatever you're good at, let that be your inspiration.
The Easiest Way...
Some people don't like writing or don't have any extra time, and in this case, there are several ways to go about creating a book for your child. The easiest- still very thoughtful way- and will always put a smile on your child's face is going professional. Many website/companies specialize in creating a book for you once you have provided them with a few of your child's details. You can pick from an assortment of layouts and book themes. Also great for young children who like books that have their name mentioned, etc. This is even a great gift idea for someone else's children.
A couple of places to visit are:
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