Last night I was reading their journal from 2005. This post made me laugh and it made me cry:
"We are working on your anger management skills, Stephen. The other day you kicked and broke the porch spindle. You were very brave though because you told Mommy and Daddy. You have been getting in trouble and not taking responsibility for it. You told me that you would pay for it if Daddy couldn’t fix it. Then you were sent to the stairs because Nick said that you bit him. You told me that Nick pushed you off the swing and your mouth was open so your teeth accidentally hit his arm. You come up with the funniest lines."
Honestly, who would remember those lines or those moments? It brings me back to when my kids were younger and the only thing I had to worry about was Stephen’s anger. I tell Stephen that he is the keeper of the family history. My hope is that he will share these memories with his children so that they not only know their father, but they get to know their uncle who sadly won’t be there with them. I want Stephen to know that when his child refuses to do chores or screams at his parents and slams his door and breaks it, that’s pretty normal. He went through the same thing.
I especially want him to remember that he did have a good childhood, even though it was cut short by the loss of his brother. When I look back at all we have done, I know that my kids’ lives were filled with fun, love, and laughter.
If you are thinking that you wish you had started a journal for your children or that you would like to start a journal for your kids or just for yourself, it’s never too late. AND you don’t have to be a writer to do this. We are all writers when it comes to journaling.
Here’s how to start:
- Tools—How do you want to record your history or your thoughts?
- Blog--A lot of people use a blog as their journal and you don’t have to make it public.
- Computer—typing out your journal may be a great idea especially if you don’t have neat handwriting. A lot of my journals are unreadable and I am trying to transcribe 20 years of writing.
- Journal—I always have a hardcover journal with me. I use one to record the every day happenings and I have another journal for my fiction and blog writing. I write with a Pentel R.S.V.P. fine tip point because it flows so nicely across the page.
- Sketchbook—Maybe you are more of a visual artist type journalist. Combine drawing and writing or maybe photos. There is no wrong or right way to journal.
- Topics—What do you write about?
- Daily life—I try to write every night because I enjoy including the details, and if too many days go by I can’t even remember what I did yesterday. What is happening with your children, your husband, extended family, you?
- Family stories—My dad was a great storyteller. He had many adventures as a kid and our family always has something exciting going on. Sometimes I wish we were more boring! I regret that I didn’t write down more of his stories, and it makes me write down the stories of my childhood and my husband’s. This is a definite topic that I need to work harder on.
- Current events—I have to admit I’m pretty bad about this. I write more about the weather than what is going on in the world. I figure that is accessible from newspapers and the Internet so I don’t focus on that too much. But if this sparks inspiration, then go for it!
- Personal Growth—I write a lot about where I am in my life, what I’d like to be doing. I find journaling to be very therapeutic and believe that it was (and still is) therapy for my grief. When you get the emotions out on paper it’s like releasing toxins.
- Dreams—By this, I mean dreams that I have during the night. I keep a journal by my bed and my husband bought me a pilot pen that has a light on the tip so I can write without turning on the light. You may say that you don’t dream, but we all do. It’s just a matter of remembering. When you start to keep a journal by your bed with the intention of writing down your dreams, then you will remember them. I’ll write more about what to do with these dreams in my next post.
Your journal can be whatever you want it to be. The biggest challenge is to get started. Let me know when you do and how it’s working for you.