Posted by: Mark Nielsen | February 19, 2008

From the Mouths of Babes

We kept a running journal of Graham’s “firsts” (first tooth, etc.), his favorite things, his funniest quotes, and his special moments for the first several years of his life.  They were collected in a sort of combination scrapbook, traditional baby book, and firsthand historical account of what our family was like (and what the world was like) in the days of his life that occurred before he was old enough to understand his surroundings (spoken in deep stentorian TV announcer voice: “These… are the Days of Our Lives…”  —aw, shut up, ya weirdo).

Graham will get the whole set of three books when he’s twelve. He may not be old enough to appreciate them at that age, but it’s worth a try. On the other hand, they may become a useful thing in that crucial stage of his development. Then as long as we keep them safe, he’ll enjoy having them when he’s an adult. Even though Sue (and my mother, and his godmother Donna) did a few pages, mostly the project was mine. I still have a few blank pages left at the end of one of those bound hardback books, and I may yet fill them up before he turns six in June. Whether I do or not, between those bound books and this two-years-running blog (preserved somewhat in personal archives, though I’ve fallen behind), he should have a lot better record of his father and of our family life than many kids his age — certainly more information than my family stored up for me. Plus it will be part of my legacy, as my words echo down the generations to my grandkids, and on and on. (I can hear it now: “Look at page 22. See what a pretentious man grandpa was, kids? He wasn’t always this nice guy who buys you candy and takes you to Disney World. In fact, he used to hate Disney World, before he sold out, got rich, and went all conservative on us. Now look at him. Crazy as a loon! Poor guy.”)

On second thought, maybe I should destroy those books.

As a small sampling, here’s two more cute Graham stories from just this week:

1) “Dad, want to know how the rain works? Out in the ocean, the water vibrates and goes up into the clouds. And when the water gets too heavy, it falls down.” This was followed by an explanation of how waves form. I asked if he learned this at school. “No,” he replied. “It was on an episode of Little Einsteins.” (Leo to the rescue… again.)

2) Upon seeing the small giftbox holding his mother’s birthday earrings: “Is it from K?”

What? I replied.

“Is it from K? You know, like on the commercial — ‘Every kiss beings with Kay.’  ”

(the slogan of Kay Jewelers… and no, it was not. For the record, it was from Whitehall Jewelers.)


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