the kinetic pen

wired by words

A Writer’s Guide to Raising Kids


Nonfiction writers are historians of sorts, which explains why it has always been obvious to me, someone who specializes in the genre and has a shaky memory to boot, that I should document the cute, deep, and wacky things my daughter says as she grows up.

Since she was 4, Annalie, now 8, has shown great patience as I dash away to grab a pen and jot down something she just said. Every December, I assemble the notes into a ‘quote book,’ along with a picture of her from each month throughout the year to accompany them. Older parents always warned me that time flies, that I wouldn’t be able to remember all the ‘out-of-the-mouths-of-babes’ moments, and this is one way I can help preserve her innocence and creativity and love.

Here’s a retrospective of some of my favorites over the years:

Jan. 1, 2013: I love life. It’s like three blooming flowers in a brown field – at sunset.

Feb. 2, 2011: My eyes are tired but my body doesn’t feel like laying down, so I don’t know which one to choose.

March 28, 2013: I’m making a bird shower. Bird baths are so old-fashioned.

April 20, 2012: As soon as I put one foot on the school bus, I’ll miss you.

May 21, 2010: (on the upstairs balcony, singing and twirling around) When I look… at the trees… and the birds… and the aminals [sic]…I just feel…like I need…to dance.

June 11, 2011: Can I wait with you? You’re more important than cartoons.

July 5, 2010: My tummy hurts because I didn’t have enough stories. I need one more to make it feel better.

Aug. 24, 2011: (after hearing the term ‘end of the world’) Uh…there is no end of the world. The world is round.

Sept. 21, 2010: (trying to get out of a consequence) It won’t make me learn, and you don’t want that to happen, do you? You don’t want me to not learn.

Oct. 6, 2012: If we didn’t have bad days and sad days, there’d be no reality.

Nov. 5, 2013: (about to try her hands together for a relatively new song on the piano) This is where my beaver builds its dam.

Dec. 16, 2011: (after butting heads with me, she stops writing in her notebook, puts the cap on her marker, grabs my hands, and kneels on her chair so we’re eye level) OK, I’m going to be standing up for myself now.

That’s my girl.

Are you a parent with a time-saving way to capture life’s theoretically unforgettable moments? I’d love to hear about it.



Author: thekineticpen

Freelance journalist working on a narrative nonfiction book about a woman who, after the freak death of her husband, decides to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro to deal with her grief and finds a second chance at love.

2 thoughts on “A Writer’s Guide to Raising Kids

  1. Very cool. Most of our children’s words we keep track of by incorporating them into our everyday conversation. Pepperoni will forever be running pony. As for their activities, well, let’s just say the iPhone is always close at hand. Cheers.

  2. Precious!

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