Friday, March 18, 2011

Do Not Right On Any More!

Purging and organizing your entire house is no picnic but rediscovering stuff you'd forgotten about is sort of fun.

I got this bible as a Christmas gift from my grandparents when I was a year old but I'm not exactly sure which grandparents gave it to me. My great grandparents were Grandma and Grandpa Kizis but that handwriting is my grandmother's. I'm thinking maybe they had her give it to me for Christmas on their behalf.

Anyway, I remember this bible well. I carried it with me every time I went to the big baptist church with my grandparents. I can see myself in my white patent leather shoes with little socks that had lace around the edges. I'd be wearing little white lace gloves and a very frilly and ruffly Martha's Miniatures dress similar to this one only not as comfortable looking.

I don't know who Martha is but I have a feeling she never had children of her own. If she had she would know that putting a toddler in a scratchy organza dress then sending them to church where they're expected to keep still and quiet for an hour is just downright insane.

Anyway, Taylor ran across my bible while she was cleaning out the bookshelves in her room. I flipped through it and started cracking up at some of the things that my sister and I had written in it.

My sister, Shamayn, used to have a "thing" about writing her name on stuff. I always thought maybe it was because she had an unusual name which was inconvenient for a child of the 70s and 80s. Personalized and monogrammed stuff was considered cool. We all had a wooden key chain with our name carved in it even though we couldn't drive for another 6 years. We had our names imprinted on little license plates on the back of our bicycles and airbrushed in glitter on the front of our t-shirts. Poor Mayn never could find her name on the key chain rack at Spencer's in the mall. I think that's where her tagging tendencies came from. But she didn't just write her name on things, the child carved it into furniture and scratched it into the paint on her bedroom door. She was serious about leaving her mark.
Shamayn is 3-1/2 years younger than I am and even though she is my best friend today, we didn't get along well while we were growing up. She was an inconvenient disruption to my little world and she kept touching my stuff. I really, really hated that.

She and I both wrote inside just about every book we ever had but I didn't like her writing in MY books. This was especially true for my bible which I knew was an important book since it was a gift from my grandparents. I knew it shouldn't have been written in at all. In an attempt to keep Shamayn from writing my special bible, I wrote "Do not right on" on every blank page I could find. Made sense to me.

This didn't prove to be an effective deterrent as you can see. On a blank page toward the end of the bible I had to get a little more assertive so I wrote, "Do not right on any more!"

Taylor and I just died laughing at the kid logic of writing "Do not right on" on every blank page. Taylor didn't write in her books when she was little. I've held on to some of her favorite childhood books and a few I've held on to for myself.

The first books I bought for Taylor were a set of Disney board books that I got before she was born. We didn't have a lot of money then, sort of like now, so I would join every book subscription club that I could find advertised in magazines. This was before the internet went mainstream. They all offered to send you a trial book or books for free along with a t-shirt or tote bag or something similar. After previewing the trial books they would send you a couple of books and a big fat bill every month for the rest of your natural life. If you didn't like your trial books you could cancel your subscription but they let you keep the books and the t-shirt for free.

I was really diligent about canceling my subscription before they sent me something I had to actually pay for and through that process I was able to amass an impressive free library for my kiddo plus a whole bunch of t-shirts that she slept in for years. I would read to Taylor from the Disney board books when she was an infant but later they became her favorite thing to chew on when she was teething. There are teeth marks all over them and the spines look like victims of a rat infestation. How can I give those away??! I can't. Taylor might like to read them to her baby some day then it will be her turn to fish bits of bookboard out of her kid's slobbery mouth.

I used to save things for the children I would have some day. Now I save things for the grandchildren I hope to have not any time soon.

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