This is The Book:

It may not look like very much from the outside, but the inside is brimming with…. us: togetherness: vulnerability: life.
My sister, Dottie, and her friends started one over summer breaks from college to stay in touch. She started one in our family last summer with the same purpose. The idea is that you get the book, write in it as if it were a journal and then pass it on QUICKLY. We are still working on the quickly part. This is the third time I’ve written in it in a year.
In our their defense (because I am extremely quick in getting it back out the door), there are 9 of us involved – my mom, my cousin Bonni, my five sisters, one brother, and me. Theoretically I should get it every 2 months. But alas, it’s been 6 months since my last entry. But really, I digress. This has nothing to do with the post.
The real reason for the post is how exciting it is every time one gets the book in the mail. Each of us has the same reaction. We squeal with delight, hole ourselves up in our room or corner of the car, ignore everything for about 20 minutes while we read every entry since our own, and then put it on the shelf to write in later… some of us much later than others.
I love that my mother is included… that we can glean from her wisdom. She raised seven kids, you know.
And raised us well, if I do say so myself.
And I love how we each have our own personal style. Katie usually sticks something in the book. One time it was a leaf from when she was camping, this time it was a picture of something for someone else (I don’t want to spoil the surprise!)
And I love that my family has something tangible that is exciting and memorable.
What traditions does your family have?

Comments (7)

  • Matushka Anna / June 7, 2010 / Reply

    That’s a really neat tradition!

  • merlin / June 7, 2010 / Reply

    We live 3000 miles away from family and in a different country! After 15years our children have a better relationship with the mail-lady and dry cleaner than any of their long distance family. I’ve shed my tears, raged, cried some more and then decided I had to let go of all of the wishing and be darn grateful for the mail-lady and dry cleaner who seem to actually be interested in and care about my kids.

    Now seeing this book/journal idea….oh what might have been….

    I will tuck away this idea for my own children and future grandchildren so that no matter where we all end up we can feel connected and included as family.

    Brilliant, what a gift of hope you have given me by sharing this family gem of yours.

  • Anonymous / June 7, 2010 / Reply

    i almost cried when i read your post… i have no idea why. i think because it is such a special thing and i love to be connected to everyone this way. And i’m thinking about what i’ve read in the book and what i’ve written in the book and it is full of vulnerability.
    on a different note… i knew you wouldn’t be very happy to have had to wait 6 months.. hee hee. love you,

  • rapunzel / June 8, 2010 / Reply

    We have a mascot named Batesy and she has her own blog: She loves to travel. She was with me when our son was born 8 years ago. Last I heard she was in Lousiana.

    I’m with you on the QUICKLY part — not so much here, either.

  • Sarah Joy / June 8, 2010 / Reply

    That is the best tradition ever. My best freind an di used to go to a small private school. We knew each other from church for years before ending up in the same school. We would get a notebook every year and every day all day long pass it back and forth in between classes. She was one year younger than I, so we rarely were together in the same class. If you were caught writing notes you were in trouble but this looked like school work. I loved getting her messages during the day and over weekend one of us would take it home and write as well. I know we should have paid more attention in class but the grades weren’t suffering:)
    We even wrote in code in case soemone figured out what we were doing… break ups, fights with our parents, with each other, what to wear out on Friday night… all that notebook. Such a good memory for me.

  • Kristen / June 8, 2010 / Reply

    Matt and I keep a book like this between the two of us. But I never thought of doing it with my whole family. What a great idea! I love it!

  • Courtney / June 10, 2010 / Reply

    i LOVE this idea!!! i think i’m going to copy it for my group of college girls…hmm…how do you decide the order?? birth order??

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