While still in the hospital after his son's birth, Eric Jensen created an email address for him.
He has been sending emails to his son regularly ever since.
He plans to show them to his son when he's older to help him reflect on himself and their relationship.
When his son, Kidd, now almost 3, was born, Eric Jensen was overwhelmed with emotion. He wanted his son to be able to look back and understand how he felt when he was older.
Jensen had often found himself wondering what he was like as a child from his parents' perspective. "I didn't have anything that I could look back on," he told Insider. "My brother died a few years ago, so I also think a lot about how I could have learned more about his life."
To make sure his son wouldn't have the same regrets, he decided to start keeping a journal about his life. At first, he thought of writing things down on paper, but he was worried the pages would get lost or ruined. So he figured it would be best to document everything digitally.
A couple of days after Kidd's birth, while staying in the hospital as his wife recovered, Jensen decided to create an email account for Kidd and write him a letter sharing his feelings. He said that writing that initial email gave him the idea to continue documenting his son's life digitally. "It kind of kept going and then it became this whole thing," Jensen said.
While there are apps and services designed for similar purposes, Jensen felt it was risky to assume they would still be around over a decade from now. "Email has been permanent so far, and I thought it would be really cool because I can date it and add pictures," Jensen told Insider. "It will allow him to go through a little catalog of his history."
He said he primarily writes emails to document milestones in his son's life, such as the first time he walked and talked. But he also writes fun stories about himself and his wife and family trips — such as a recent weekend they spent body surfing. "Sometimes I'll send two or three emails a month, and sometimes it'll be one a month," said Jensen.
Jensen regularly shares videos about himself and his son with his 415,000 followers on his TikTok account, where he goes by the username @kidds_dad. Hoping he might inspire others to start journals for their children, Jensen posted a humorous video about sending emails to his son on October 6.
In the clip, he is sitting at his computer and typing at the keyboard. The text overlaying the video reads, "Sitting down to write my weekly email to my two-year-old's email I created him when he was born, but I end up telling him everything about my day and every single thing he did that week."
The video received 300,000 views and many people seemed to like idea — one commenter wrote that they planned to do the same thing if they ever had children.
Some viewers pointed out that he should save the emails in case anything happens to the account, and warned him that he should log in to the account occasionally to make sure it doesn't get deleted.
Jensen acknowledged these concerns and said he does log into his son's email account regularly, but he's not worried about losing the emails. "Worst case scenario, I still have a copy on my digital side that I can send again or print or do whatever I want," he said.
Jensen is still unsure when he will show the emails to his son — but he plans for it to be a surprise.
"Right now, I'm bouncing between 16 or 18, or whenever he leaves the house," he said. "I think it'd be a cool unveiling to be like, 'Hey, check out what I did.' I want to give him a little reflection on him, on our relationship, on everything."
Read the original article on Insider