Sunday, November 13, 2011

Remembering the Funnies

"Were those some of the sweetest words you have ever heard?" I asked Justin one Sunday while we were all cuddling on the couch, watching the Panther's game. Jonah had just said, "Hold on, Daddy, I want to watch this punt return." I think Justin has been waiting all his life to hear those words.

There are some things my kids say that I wish I could bottle and keep forever. "Carson, I haven't been able to play with Mommy all day," Jonah said one day after school when he and I were hitting the tennis ball back and forth on the driveway. Just when I thought Jonah actually didn't mind being away from me all day at school, he melted my heart with a simple sentence.

My dad is one of the best storytellers ever. And I think he remembers about 95% of the things my sister and I said as kids. He remembers the funny names we gave to things: "ponge" for sponge, "cansackle" for sandcastle, "campsiben" for um....I can't even remember the real name for that one. He remembers that I would call and call for him in the middle of the night, afraid to get up on my own, but he'd often open his eyes to find Emily staring at him, having climbed right out of her bed. He remembers the way my mom, sister, and I used to get the giggles at dinner and laugh so hard we cried at the silliest things. Actually, we still do that. He REMEMBERS because these seemingly "little" things in life make up the big things. They are the stitches that hold our relationships together, keep us strong in tough times, and encourage us to make new memories. And he remembers because he retells the stories over and over, and we never get tired of hearing them.

The first person I want to tell when Jonah or Carson say something or do something funny is Justin...and then my mom and dad and sister. I wish I could say I have one great system where I keep all the cute things they say so I'll never forget them. My dad has always kept journals, and now he has the story of his life, typed neatly and saved on his computer. Somehow I missed out on inheriting his organizational skills. But I do have sticky notes all over my house and a "memo" on my blackberry called funnies where I record the cute things my boys say. I also believe the most effective way to remember the cuteness is to talk about it. So, as the boys get older, I have started to tell them stories. Just the other day Justin was reminding Jonah of the Christmas when all he wanted was green cake so we made a birthday cake for Jesus, and it was green. Carson has decided he is going to write a book one day about a boy who likes dressing up all the time because he remembers us telling him there was a time when we had to limit his changing clothes to three times a day (and we still have days like those).

And sometimes, I just want to remember things the boys say because they make me feel good. When Jonah chose my chocolate chip cookies over Joe Joe's (Trader Joe's) cream filled ones and said, "Mommy, you make the best cookies," it made my day. Such simple things...but so important in how we view life and all it has to offer. Makes me want to listen more and talk less, ask more questions, and make more time for family conversations so I can hear more precious words and stories from my boys who are growing up way too fast.

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