Adult Writing Workshop Reviews
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The other day I was talking to some of my friends about my journals. For those who have grown up with my kids, it’s well known that if a photo of an event is needed of their child, they can ask me and I’ll probably have it. Plus, I may have an in-depth description of the event in my journal.
I have always kept a diary of some sort since I was in 7th grade. I wasn’t very good with details then, but it reflects the chaos, drama, and fickleness of a teenager. It’s quite funny, but also interesting in that much of it I have forgotten. It doesn’t seem that the writer could be me.
When I became pregnant with Nick, I wanted to keep a detailed journal on my pregnancy and then of his life so that he would remember all that he had done as a baby. We have very select memories and while it’s amazing what we can remember, it’s so sad what we forget. When Nick was born I had the nurse stamp the outline of his foot in his journal and I collected any newspaper articles about him or the family and stapled them to a page.
Eventually the world of scrapbooking became very popular so my journals became 12” x 12” scrapbooking masterpieces that combined my family’s history with a photo album. I have to say I have been very bad at keeping up with this, but all their school and artwork are in scrapbooks and I have kept up my journaling since 1995. This year will mark 20 years of journaling about my kids, my husband, my family, my hopes, dreams, and disappointments.
I have to say I am very honest in my journals. When I’m mad at someone I write all about it. Very often this gives me clarity and helps me to solve problems. I separate my journals into sections: Boys, Personal reflections, dreams, and rants. When my oldest son, Nick, passed away my scrapbooks became one of my most precious keepsakes. I have nightmares of losing them in a fire and need to scan them onto my computer for extra security. Our lives are in those books.
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:
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.
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