A few years ago we started jotting down family memories and stuffing them in an old mason jar that we keep in our dining room. Every other week or so, one of the kids pulls a handful of memories out of the jar after dinner and we read through them together. Here are some of our favorites.
August 2013 Every day when I walk up Hillcrest Drive on my way home from work, I see the lights on our lamppost shining, even in broad daylight. This is our “love light,” and Katie turns it on without fail as a sign that she loves me and has been thinking about me.
September 2013 Andrew, kneeling next to Benjamin, holding him in a tender embrace (whispering): “If I could choose any little boy in the whole world as my son, it would be you every time. I’m proud of you and I love you so much.” Benjamin (also whispering): “Yeah. Special treat.”
December 2013 We’re sitting around the dinner table, speculating about what the new baby will be like—serious, fun-loving, silly, outgoing, funny, smart? Moe says, looking at Ben, “Well, we’ve already got funny.” And Katie says, “We already have a smart person in our family, too.” “Who?” Moe asks. “Katie,” Katie replies.
February 2014 Katie said something very beautiful and poetic to me just now: “The best part of my eyes is you and Mommy and Benjamin.”
July 2014 Ben was heartbroken that Moe buttered his English muffin this morning; he wanted me to do it. After wailing and shedding tears for several minutes, he got creative: he turned his English muffin over to dump the butter onto his napkin so I could rebutter it.
September 2014 Katie and Ben are lying in their beds with the lights out and Moe overhears Katie say the following (her first day of preschool is tomorrow): “Ben, do you know what? Even when I’m at school, or at the grocery store, or even when we’re here, I’m always with you. Do you know why? Because I’m in your heart.”
February 2015 Andrew (looking at dishwasher to figure out why it’s making a strange noise): “I’m not sure what’s going on here.” Benjamin: “Put me in there.” Andrew: “What would that do?” Benjamin: “I’ll figure out what’s wrong.”
March 2015 Benjamin (from upstairs, while Moe and I are eating pad thai from Taste of Thai after the kids have gone to bed): “Mommy, can I have a taste of that smell?”
March 2015 Benjamin (after crawling into our bed in the morning, waking me up, lying right next to me, and taking half my pillow): “Dad, you’re kind of smooshing me.”
March 2015 Over the course of our family’s two-day trip to Washington, D.C. Benjamin: “This is the goodest trip of my life.” Benjamin (disgruntled by not getting something he wanted): “This is the worst trip ever.”
May 2015 The other day, when Katie learned that Moe was making bean and kale soup for dinner, she said, sarcastically, “Great…” and then, seeing Moe’s expression, caught herself, changed her tone, and said, “Great-ful!”
May 2015 Last night Ben said, “Daddy, can we have a snack, and can it be good but with a little bit of badness in it?”
July 2015 Benjamin just said to Katie, “Katie, I wish it said in the Bible that brother and sister could marry.”
August 2015 Benjamin, speaking at random: “I am JC Penney all dressed up in abednego. Thank you for all you do and for JC Penney. Hey!”
October 2015 Ben just held up his Dorito-dust-encrusted fingers and asked, with a big smile on his face, “Dad, would you like to lick my fingers?”
March 2016 The night of the day that we did two Easter egg hunts with the Bailey family, Katie talked in her sleep. She sat bolt upright at 11:00 PM and exclaimed, “I found one!” Then she made the motions of picking up two eggs from her comforter.
May 2016 Ben and I are lying in his bed at night, talking about all sorts of things, including beards. Ben: “Will I have a beard some day, Daddy?” Me: “You sure will, Ben.” Ben: “Will I have to plant anything?”
December 2016 We discussed one of the Proverbs this morning, and I began by asking if the kids knew who wrote them. Their guesses included “Dennis” and “Judea.”
January 2017 Katie: “Mommy, you look awesome for as much as you eat!”
February 2017 John now calls tissues “bless-you’s,” a term he came up with on his own.