For decades now, I've always had some form of organizer that I keep with me all the time - it's how I keep track of the bills, of chores that must be done, of phone numbers that are important, of appointments, of dates that must be remembered. In it I also keep my lists and notes: grocery lists, To Do lists, recipes, knitting patterns, driving directions, things I learned while researching at the library or bookstore or a class. All of our financial responsibilities and information, birthdays, the phone numbers and addresses of all our friends and family, all in The Book.
I can't keep it all in my head, so in The Book it goes.
Scott used to make fun of The Book, when he wasn't exasperated by it. I don't know how many times he's stood at the door, fidgeting impatiently and rolling his eyes, while I rummaged through the house snarling, "It's important! We can't leave until I have That Book!!" Or worse, how many times he had to turn the car around and backtrack - sometimes for many miles - after hearing me gasp, "Oh, no!! I can't find my book, I must have left it back at X**. We have to go back - I can't do anything without The Book!!"
And I was right. The Book held all the information we needed to keep our little family going. Our finances, our chores, our friends and family, all our important information was in that book. The book has been, in a very real sense, the solid representation of my function in the family.
My organizer has gotten smaller over the years, as many of the functions of The Book gradually were taken over by The Computer. But still I have a little Book that I carry everywhere, a backup that mostly now just keeps track of doctor appointments, and the phone numbers of my emergency contacts.
On Wednesday, Scott asked if he could have my old organizer.
Today he wrote down the grocery list in his Book, and the names of the movies at the local Redbox that we thought we might want to see. Half an hour later, someone called to let me know that he had left his Book on the Redbox machine. When he got home, he had managed to acquire all the requested items (a first!) and I teased him a bit about having to backtrack in order to get The Book.
We laughed. But in the quiet spaces between, we know what it means. Now Scott gets the groceries. Now Scott is making payment arrangements. Now Scott is scheduling dates for family get-togethers. Now Scott jots down recipes.
He can't keep it all in his head, so in The Book it goes...
**Seriously? You don't know what 'X' stands for? What are you doing down here, reading this?