Conversations with Raphi

This weekend Raphael took up with a new phrase.

“I learned somethin’ new!” he chortled with glee. I never could get him to tell me what it was that he learned, but the phrase had become his, a replacement of sorts for, “Can I tell yoo somethin’?” He says it whenever he’d like a little attention, thankyouverymuch. This morning Clay stopped by and Raphi danced around us, trying to turn us both toward him.

“HEY! HEY! Guys! I learned somethin’ really cool! It’s somethin’ else new!” he chanted until we gave him our full attention. Once we were both looking at him, he paused, casting about for something he could show us. He finally decided to show us a great leaping twirl, jumping up, twisting around, and landing with a very satisfactory THUD. He did that several times, each time announcing his trick with another, “I learned somethin’ new!”

I watched him, thinking, I hope that ends up in a blog, so I don’t forget.

Hey, lookee there. It did.

I’m not good about memento keeping. I don’t take many pictures. I fitfully save artwork and school papers, shoving them on a high shelf in my closet. I intend to sort through them some day, putting each boy’s own papers in his own labeled box…but I’m not all that good about that.

What I do have, the tiny finger hold I have against losing their childhood completely, is this blog. I mention events and sayings and obsessions that the boys have, just in passing. Then, months later, I’ll glance back over old blog entries, and my eyes will fall on some fact of their existence that was so true then, and is gone now. Oh wow, that’s right, I’ll think, Raphi was drawing on the walls for a while. He’s done with that now. Or, Oh yeah, Max would torment Tre by pretending to be colorblind. I forgot about that.

This weekend I took Raphael to a friend’s birthday party at the rec center pool. I stood, shivering in the water, dodging the birthday boy’s mom. She was hovering with a video camera, and I DID NOT want to be captured on film in a swimsuit. I mean.

So I warily circled her, and watched her zoom in and out, recording her son’s party. I wondered about it, about why she was doing it. Would she actually watch the tape? More than once? Some day, when this child is away at college, would she pull out the tape of his fifth birthday and watch it with her husband, tearing up at the sight of the tiny boy he was?

She has her video tape, and I have my blog. I guess they’re just different forms of the same thing, the drive to grab onto some part of our kids’ childhood before they’re gone. It’s like standing under a torrential waterfall, holding out a teaspoon, trying to catch the water. Pitifully inadequate, bit at least it’s an attempt.

At least my blog never captures footage of innocent women in bathing suits. Humph.



I'm glad there's another mom out there who's not part of the scrap-book-making mania. I too don't take very many pictures, so I'm glad blogs were invented too.


You know, those stacks of mementos in the closet with actually add up....I was surprised by how much I had saved when I went to pull it all out years later. Just because I am not organized in how I do it doesn't mean it isn't done, in some fashion or another :)



That's why I blog too. I often think how much I would LOVE to have a written account of my childhood in my mother's own words. Not that I don't take pictures, because I DO. I'm averaging over 300 a month. But now my kid will have the added benefit of CAPTIONS, where all I have from my childhood is a Banker's Box.


I am not good at taking pictures, nor at remembering to take them. Took an 8 week roadtrip with my kids one summer and came home with 3 photographs. Ever after, I buy disposable cameras for all the kids, (almost) as many as they want.

We finally got a digital camera shortly after our grandson was born. It does stills and short videos, and I treasure the three 3-5 minute clips we have of the little guy laughing out loud, long and hard, at 9 months just as he was starting to walk.


your waterfall and teaspoon metaphor seems like a very apt one to me. i have multiple albums going for each kid, (not the scrapbook freaky kind) but what i really have are lots of sliding envelopes, full of photos and negs that need to be filed. it may not chronological, but it's all there ... somewhere. just be glad you've been wise enough to enjoy the ridE@

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