I’ve always been pretty consumed with the need to live out a good story. Maybe that’s the writer in me. More likely, it’s the Author in God calling me into a better life. Not better, as in more put together and polished but better as in meaningful and memorable.
Donald Miller writes a lot about what makes a good story in his book, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. He says, a good movie has memorable scenes and so does a good life. I must’ve been talking about memorable scenes quite a bit in the last days, because my six year old came up with the idea to start a Memory Book–A book where we’d keep track of all our family’s memorable moments over the years. I told her this idea was brilliant. And I meant it. I knew the perfect journal for it.
I’m addicted to journals, by the way. All those blank pages. All that unknown possibility. Handwriting anything nowadays is ancient and glorious. Anyways, there was this journal upstairs I’d purchased with the intent of writing to my children. I bought it before having children. I hadn’t written in it yet. But it called to me from the depths–knowing that it was constructed to rise up soley for this, in this precise moment; because as soon as my daughter got out her idea, I was half way up the stairs to retrieve it from under a layer of thick dust.
I ran back to the room out of breath, part stairs part excitement. I told my family about this guy named Bob Goff. Supposedly Bob Goff doesn’t watch tv. Supposedly Bob Goff writes down his memories in a journal. Lots of journals. Like hundreds. One of the memories in one of Bob’s journals is how he and his family started a neighborhood parade on New Year’s Day. It’d actually grown to quite the event. People, even after moving away, would venture back to the street to be apart of it.
I remember thinking Bob’s family sounded fun and I wanted our family to be fun like that. I didn’t anticipate copying their exact fun. But a six year old and five year old take things pretty literal. When they started brainstorming a neighborhood parade, I swallowed my hopes of originality for the time being and jumped in with a splash.
Splash parade. I think that’s what one of them called it. We’d have it on the first day of summer. We’d block off a section of our street. Kids would waltz down the street in bikinis and board shorts and their parents would line the sidewalks cheering—and pelting them with water balloons and drenching them with super soaker water guns. My youngest, Remy, said at the end of the parade we should hand out hotdogs and chips. I thought that was genius. (I seriously love my girls’ brains.)
My husband gently reminded me that a few days ago, I’d asked him not to let me plan anymore events. It’s this cute thing I do. Bite off more than I can chew. I was in the thick of hosting a blogger shopping event that I romanticized canceling 5,672 times. I even shared the event link on my social media platforms with a caption that read, “Mark my words, my last event.”
Well, we should at least pray about it, I said. This was a great way to build relationships with our neighbors, I said.
We don’t need a parade to get to know our neighbors, he said.
That’s not memorable, I said. Water guns are memorable, I said.
On the first page of our memory book, Jovie wrote down her idea for the memory book. On the second page I wrote, ‘We are praying about a parade.’