Speakingout
How do you record your family's special days - do you write them down on a calendar or scrapbook?
Memories next to cookie recipes make great stories 081909 SPEAKINGOUT 2 Capital City Weekly How do you record your family's special days - do you write them down on a calendar or scrapbook?
Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Story last updated at 8/19/2009 - 5:58 pm

Memories next to cookie recipes make great stories

How do you record your family's special days - do you write them down on a calendar or scrapbook?

When my kids were younger I'd tell myself I could never forget their childhood moments. There wasn't any reason to write them down, because how could I possibly forget?

Boy, was I wrong. I forgot. Their baby albums went, for the most part, unrecorded. So I did the next best thing: I wrote in my Betty Crocker Cookbook about the morning my infant son laughed hard for the first time. I know, because it's right there next to the Sally Lunn bread recipe.

An ordinary day - but a memory that's now a family story to treasure.

More moments - more stories - followed. Like his first stitches after a first-grade playground accident; it's right there next to the Bonnie Butter cake recipe. Over on page 15 is an oil-splattered, crusty-floured reminder of the day he took his A.L.F lunchbox to school while his 17-month-old sister waved "mi, mi, moo" to the window (we'd just read "Goodnight Moon" for the 100th time.) Ordinary days, but memories that are now family stories to treasure.

Over on page 36, Reagan beat Mondale on Nov. 3, 1989, right next to the brownies. The sugar cookies on page 47? They were filled with raspberry jam for our son's high school band bake sale. An inch away, nine years later, that same recipe formed the backdrop of his oldest daughter's tiny handprint.

There's more, recorded on pages 36, 47 and 79.

My favorite recorded moments are those written in my children's writing, complete with their backward Ys and lower-case As. They are ordinary days, but memories that are now family stories to treasure.

I won't be able to leave much to my kids after I'm gone someday, but something tells me they won't mind getting my cookbooks - not for the recipes but for the hand-scribbled notes written inside - of first laughs, school lunchboxes and stitches from playground falls.

They're ordinary days, but memories that are now family stories to treasure.

I hope you'll have your own oil-splattered, crusty-floured moments, too.

Reach Judy Halone at littlepencilwriting@gmail.com.


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