There's a white lined index card tucked behind a jar on our kitchen counter. It looks like a wacko list of unrelated terms but it represents a mini tradition we acquired a few years ago where we create random future band names from word combinations that come up in our regular conversations.
For example: One day Sam is especially excited as he broke open a freshly purchased loaf of our usual brand of bread in Australia (Helga's). As he takes out the first two slices he announces, "Oh, I love first-day Helgas!" We look up with a grin and say it in unison: "Band name." It goes on the list.
If future anthropologists discovered the card, I'm not sure what they would make of the kooky random word pairings. Each entry takes me back to the moment: the laugh of recognition, the race to jot it down on the card. It's one of those organic little traditions that have emerged in our midstage family life and I love how it pins down the elusive moonbeam of a moment. When we packed up to move, that little battered card was one of the few documents precious enough to tuck into my journal to bring along with me, in person.
Here are a few of the bands--you can probably imagine some of the backstories. Others are pretty...situational and need a little explanation:
- First Day Helgas
- Ginger Lincoln
- Involuntary Doughnuts
- Defective Tomato
- 6 a.m. Shanks (This one probably needs a little explaining: Greg had a weekly early morning call with a guy in the US with that name)
- Dichotomous Key
- Sticky Figs
- Downton Abbey on the Sly
- Rogue Pinky
- Time Zone Overlap
- American Dairy
- Bat Pee Rainstorm (after we made the unfortunate choice of sitting under a couple of trees at an outdoor concert that ended up being the home to a whole fleet of bats)
If I were fancier I'd turn it into a special journal or chatbook but that might make it too precious and ruin it. (In fact, I'm hoping that just writing about it here won't mess with the band name juju!) It's just a battered list on a notecard. But it's also more than just the paper--it's a snapshot of a laugh, an artifact of connected delight.
What little artifacts do you save that represent aspects of your family life? What tiny, random traditions mean the most to you?