Sunday, April 11, 2010

Introducing the Memory Box

I had a blog before this.  OK, it wasn't a real blog, but it was a repository for stories the way this blog is.   Technically, it was (still is) just a box.  A box filled with hand-written stories on note cards.  When GJ was a baby, I covered the box in brown paper and we colored it together, writing "Memories" on the lid.  Since then when something funny or sweet happens, I try to jot it down on a note card or whatever I can get my hands on, before I forget.  Then I drop the story in the memory box.

I find the format of stories much more interesting than the baby books have turned out to be, even the ones I have filled out.  Recording milestones seemed so important to me when the children, especially G the first born, were babies.  Now I see that, for me, the date of the first word, and step, and so on, isn't that interesting to look back on.  But reading stories, or even just a cute quote, takes me right back to the moment.  Stories help me retrieve memories I might have lost.  Stories can be more alive, even than pictures.  I love them.  Having the box means that these special stories are all in one place and  I like that they are all thrown in randomly, in no particular order.  They get mixed up as we rifle through.  Reading them is a favorite activity for hubby and me. 

The memory box contains some family classics - stories I'll be telling and retelling for years to come.  Stories I will never forget.  Then there are the stories I would have forgotten if it weren't for the box.  These are our favorite stories to pull out of the box at random and read aloud to each other in bed.  We smile, laugh,or I cry as memories flood back.  He rolls his eyes at me secretly liking that I get weepy and sentimental.

I pulled a cute one out of the box today.  This is one that I only vaguely remembered (and it wasn't that long ago).  The story didn't have a title, but I have given it one below: 

"In Your Dreams" - October 2009 (Johnny just five years old)
 Johnny woke up early this morning and crawled into bed with me, as he often does.  It was his usual time, 4:45 AM or so, just after Deano has vacated his side of our bed and left for the hospital.  I'm not sure how Johnny knows when to show up, but his timing is always perfect.  Deano's side is empty but still toasty and I'm always happy to have these special moments with Johnny.  This time, instead of snuggling with me and drifting off to sleep again, Johnny whispers, "I had a nightmare."  I say, "You did?"  He looks back at me - we are nearly nose to nose snuggled under the covers.  His eyes are wide as he says in a serious voice, "Yeah.  It was about ten little ghosts-es tryin' to deshtwoy the world."  I pause to take this in.  "Whoa," I eventually say and Johnny says, "Yeah.  And I had to shave (he meant save) the world."  I match his serious tone and say, "How scary."  This time Johnny half rolls his eyes and semi-shrugs.  Then he says, in a carefree voice, "Well.....It was actu-wee a good nightmare.  GJ was my sidekick."

His sidekick, huh?  A boy can dream.

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