Monday, March 29, 2010

The Quote Book

I couldn’t find a really suitable quote about quotes

We keep a Quote Book. It lives in the drawer in the kitchen. It’s small and thin and the cloth glued to the cover clashes flamboyantly with the flowered shelf-paper. Over the spine is draped a thread strung over with pastel and iridescent beads. It makes a handle, as if this treasure were to ever be carried more than a room from its home. Inside, the lined white pages are written over with scrawls that set down the wisdom and folly of youth.

Inside, past the heavy paper page that’s actually part of the binding, is stated:

This journal belongs to
The De Lucia Family

Started on
August, 2006

For nearly four years, we’ve written down the funniest, cleverest, most telling statements, assertions, complaints and conversations that have erupted from our children’s mouths.

It holds gems such as:

(arriving at Chuck E. Cheese’s)
Kid 1: Is Chuck E. Cheese a mouse?
Kid 2: No, I think he’s a rat.

(later, standing near a 6-foot Chuck E. Cheese statue)
Kid 2: Well, he’s got 3 toes. Maybe he’s a 3-toed sloth?

Also, there’s:
Kid 3: (aged 2 at the time. He’s pointing to keys on the computer keyboard). A, L, F, G, K, crocodile…

Lastly, there’s
(daddy belches loudly)
Mommy: You’re disgusting.
Kid 2: Mommy, I think the word you’re looking for is “funny”!

The book is more than three-quarters full, now. But in it are all of those adorable sayings that, at the time, you’re certain you’ll remember forever. Then a few days later, you and your spouse are trying to recall what was said and all that remains is a vague notion that it was “so cute!”

My wife is collecting favorite family recipes into a scrap-booked cookbook. Those will be nice when they’re done and certainly practical for the kids to take off to college and their lives beyond our home. And we have literally volumes of photographs - a veritable encyclopedia (for those who remember the days when encyclopedia meant a pallet-load of books that were obsolete before they were even printed). But in terms of cherished memories, few pictures, few mementos can come close to the joy we get revisiting these words. We hear them in the voices of the past – the high-pitched, toddler’s intensity. The child’s wonderment at the unfolding nature of reality. The youth’s enhanced vocabulary and increasingly clever turns of phrase. Each of these voices is lost to the lengthening, thickening vocal chords of maturity. But I hear them still, in my head, spurred on by the pages of this magical book.

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