My second son is a little stand-up comedian. Once when he was about five, my parents were minding their own business, watching television in their inlaw suite in the basement of the family home. He walked into the room and announced out of nowhere, “This is not a drill, we are out of pretzels.” This became an instant classic that I recorded onto mp3 player and you can listen to it here .
That 5-second sound file has taken on a life of its own. I dragged and dropped it to one of my iPod playlists where it pops up on shuffle, much to my delight. I burned it onto several home-made CD’s so that it, for example, serves as the new introduction to Black Flag’s “Rise Above.”
Both my wife and my mother use a sound file of one of my two-year-olds signature phrases as their cellphone ringtone. In fact, I have a whole library of audio clips of my kids saying their ABC’s for the first time, singing a song, or just talking about themselves. Just as I would never think of letting time slip by without taking loads of pictures to visually document every important moment, I think it is also important–but overlooked– to use recording devices to capture the sounds of our lives.
Otherwise someday we will forget what our baby’s laugh sounded like, how our children first mispronounced “refrigerator” or what the shortage of what snack food constituted an emergency for a five-year-old.