My daughter, Mary, posted the above quote as her status on Facebook. I like it. I wanted to share it. So there it is. It particularly fits Mary, our 6th child, 4th daughter. She's always been a bit of a free spirit and although not a rebellious teen, she chose her own path, had fun doing it, made lots of friends and has turned into a beautiful, strong, independent young wife and mother, all the while following the words of that anonymous quotation.
|Baron, Mary, Layla and Greg - 2010|
When they were little, the kids used to say such cute things, quite inadvertently, that became part of our family's peculiar and personal language. I wish I had written them down. Here are a few that I remember.
1. When we had six kids, several years before Emily was born, we moved our family from Saskatchewan to Nova Scotia. We drove the 3000 miles in a small station wagon (before seatbelts were the law), spending almost 5 days on the road. To this day we refer to the back of a station wagon or van as "the way back". To make things easier on us parents, and to provide a measure of safety for the kids, we instituted a buddy system to be used at all stops along the way. 3-year old Mary was assigned to be 9-year old Jenny's buddy. Mary couldn't say "buddy" so she called Jenny her "Bunny". That term stuck in our family for many years. Jenny was, and still is, Mary's bunny.
|Lloyd and I with the six kids the year the buddy system was begun - 1981|
Rob, Mary, Mike, Sara, Jenny, Amy
2. Here's one from the grandkids. Charlie started pre-school when she was 4 years old. For some reason she called it "pretty school". Her mother, Sara, tried to correct her the first few times she said it but Charlie continued to go to "pretty school". It wasn't long before the whole family was referring to Charlie's school as "pretty school". The next year it was her brother, Max's turn and he happily went to pretty school, just like Charlie did. And this year Elly will be the third one in the family to attend the same pretty school.
|Sara with Charlie, Elly, baby Quinn and Max|
This is a Father's Day picture for Quincey
3. Rob used to torment the girls. He's our firstborn, followed quickly by three little girls, a boy, and two more girls. We had been visiting my parents and Rob was doing his usual good-natured teasing of his little sisters. My mother noticed this and asked him why he was tormenting the girls. He thought for a minute and then said, very seriously, "because it's my job". And another phrase was coined and stuck.
|Sara (9), Mike (7), Rob (14), Emily ( 1 mo.), Amy (11), Mary (6), Jenny (13) June 1986|
4. Family language is often the result of mispronunciation. Rob used to call the 12th month of the year "DeZember". And when he could recall something he said he could "Bemember" it. Both of those words became part of our family language. I'm sure things like that happened in many families.
5. Another term that was in common use by the first six kids was Bowlie Black - their name for the old swing set we had in the back yard. Lloyd and I didn't know about this word until a few years ago but the kids all knew what it means, although they forget why it was called that.
|Sara and Amy on Bowlie Black, 1979|
6. Lloyd used to give people nicknames if he liked them. The kids were Rob the Bob, Jenn the Ben, Sara Bara or Sari, Amy Bamie, Mike the Tyke, Mar-Bear and Em the Gem. And of course, I was Pat the Brat although I brought that name with me from my childhood. Sara's friend Janelle got called Rosella so much that Lloyd can no longer remember her real name. When Jenny introduced us to her soon-to-be husband, Anders, Lloyd called him Antoine. He gradually stopped the nicknames, but the kids used to say that if Dad liked someone he gave them nicknames.
Well, that's enough. They've all grown up to be very responsible husbands, wives and parents and no doubt their families are developing their own particular language idiosyncracies. I just hope they're writing them down so they won't be forgotten in the mists of time and fogginess of memory.
Maybe you'll write yours down too. I hope so.