Eight plus kids running in and out all day long- wow! I'm pretty sure I look back on those days much differently than she does.
But I remember she used to write down the cute little things the kids would say during the day and then tell their parents about it at night when they came to pick them up. She wrote on the backs of scratch paper, and junk mail envelopes and stuck them by the entryway.
I recently put together a scrapbook for her of photos from those years, and I added some of them from the bits of paper she had saved. We got a good giggle while reading it as we recalled the memories.
We love flipping through and re-reading all the funny things he said and did. Like when we were watching the Vikings play one Sunday and he said, "Dad, I want to watch something else. These people are smashing each other."
Or when he asked me outside one day, "When God made the flowers, did he push the leaves down just where he wanted them?"
And when he was building with blocks and the tower fell, he said, "This breaks my heart!"
This summer I read something that caught my ear, "Every mother, especially, should keep a diary in which to note the successive phases of her child's physical, mental, and moral growth, with particular attention to the moral; so that parents may be enabled to make a timely forecast of their children's character; to foster in them every germ of good, and by prompt precautions to suppress, or at least restrain, what is bad." -CM Vol. 2 p 105-6
It really got me thinking on that little blue notebook I'd been keeping. What I read gave me even more of a focus- my son's intellectual and spiritual growth. I write these things down not just to get a laugh or have a sweet memory when he is grown, but I can use it as a tool as I strive to teach and train up this kid for the glory of God!
Making entries really isn't that hard to do, other than finding just the right place to store the notebook so that it is convenient, and then remembering where I put it. The kitchen counter is not the best idea, I discovered- at least not where it can wind up sitting in a puddle of spilled juice. Thankfully ours has sustained the damage.
Now that my son is a little older he sees me writing things down. He even asks me to write down certain things that stand out to him. Like when we were playing in the sandbox and he reached up to a bud on the tree branch, he asked me to write about it in our notebook.
And when we read a new bedtime story, Burt Dow- Deep Water Man by Robert McClosky, I wrote down the line that made him burst into giggles, "Out of my way, you chuggety, bangified batch of old iron!" (You've got to read that one!)
For older kids Mason talks about having them keep their own common place book recording quotes and phrases that stand out to them from their school reading. I see our little notebook as the start of this. It will eventually lead up to him keeping a notebook of his own, a real treasure trove!