The Importance of a Mom’s Journal

“My journal is like a crooked index finger coaxing those precious memories to front row center.” What about your journal will you enjoy looking back on in the years to come?
Qeepsake Team

This post is adapted from The Washington Post from Erin Cronin.

It was the perfect gift.

I was seven months pregnant with my only child, and my husband presented me with a mother's journal—an everyday journal where you write ordinary occurrences; the thickening in the soup that is your life.

For the first three years of our daughter's life, I wrote every day, and those entries are like precious gems to me. I honestly believe that if my house was on fire I would have to abandon all sensibilities and run back in to save those books.

Reading those journals now, nine years later, it feels like I'm sneaking a peek at some stranger's diary. The entries make me laugh, cry and feel like a complete fool.

I now see that throughout the first three months of my daughter's life I was obsessed with establishing a reliable schedule for her . . . or was it for me? Around the six-month mark my scribbled references to fatigue finally ceased, only to be replaced with endless references to my child's super amazing never before seen in all of North America . . . accomplishments! It appears that I had lost my perspective on things. 

But, reading my journal I am reminded that my daughter and I often took long, aimless walks with our dog, idly collecting pebbles, acorns, feathers. I now realize she taught me more about the concept of time than I ever thought possible.

The last few months of the journal I notice more and more references to speculation about my daughter's future. In one entry I describe my daughter sitting beside me on an airplane, headset in place and sipping juice, and I'm imagining her as a 13-year-old who no longer thinks I'm the greatest thing since sliced bread. Reading that entry, I recall the scene perfectly -- the tapping foot, the sweet smell of apple juice, the crooked part separating mussed-up braids, the contented expression of a natural-born traveler.

Observing my daughter, I have often stopped and tried to commit a particular scene to memory, certain that it would bore into my mind like my phone number, my date of birth or my ideal weight. Despite my determination, those memories have gradually receded to the back of my mind. Thankfully,my journal is like a crooked index finger coaxing those precious memories to front row center.

One day, I hope to be sitting in a rocking chair in my old age, re-reading all of those journal entries with my grown daughter, who taught me so much about time. I hope that I will laugh, cry and feel not at all like a fool.

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