The perennial problem at our house is how to we let loose of ephemera?
Jerry and I, both being the oldest child in our family, became the receivers of all the old photo albums, scrapbooks, and so forth that our parents had kept over the years. For me as a genealogist, this turned out to be a wonderful serendipity, because it gave me a head start on finding what my ancestors looked like. It also gave me knowledge of some rather funny things.
Again today I was going through the 5 foot high collection of books - which of course include our baby books. Jer and I are both hovering around one side or the other of being 80 years old. We need to decide whether all this ephemera should end up with our lucky (?) children or whether we should simply bite the bullet and make a trip to the dumpster across the street.
The big problem in going over them all to determine their fate is that it is necessary to review what is in them -- especially the baby books. We don't want to let go of anything dynamic! This morning in the stack I came across Jerry's baby book.
Oh, the books of those years were so ornate. Jer was born in 1929 - and the cover of his book is so descriptive of that era. In reading through the book, I saw that - at least at the beginning of it, his mother, Bertha, was very careful to document everything he did. (I did find in the back that there was one entry on a blank page that announced the birth of Jerry's sister in 1933. Apparently she got a single page, instead of a complete baby book. I suppose his mom got busier as time went on.
Jerry's book is a small one, without photographs (unlike my own baby book which is plastered with them.). But it does cover the firsts of almost everything in that first year of Jerry's life. And it was there where I found information that sent me into a peal of laughter.
It was this: Jerry's mother wrote down for posterity that Jerry's first word was "BOBO"!
I closed my eyes and saw little Jerry, with his blond curly hair, pointing at something and saying loud enough for every one to understand...................."BOBO!"
And why I find it so funny is that Jerry later graduated from MIT (obviously not with a major in English!). One would think that a kid as smart enough to accomplish that would, at eight months, at least say something like E=mc2,
Lest you think that I am picking on Jerry, I want to add that my baby book, fat and full of photos as it is, also contains some startling information that really wasn't necessary, I think, to share. I have always wondered why it was necesssary for my mother to indicate that I was two months old when she started my toilet training!
And that fact alone may be an answer to the reason for yesterday's blog.
We may be able to let some of the old photo albums go, but surely not our baby books, for they contain amazing things, don't you think?