Several years ago I was given a real treasure! I was given my baby book that had just a couple of pictures in it with my mom’s handwriting. She had written some things about when I was a baby. I didn’t care that is wasn’t complete, I was just so happy to see some things my mom had written about me. I really would have enjoyed knowing how she “felt” about everything, but I was just grateful to have the few things I did! My mom passed away about a month after I turned 13 and I really don’t have tons of memories, so receiving this baby book was a real treat! It’s really interesting how much it means to me to have her words written in her own handwriting about me. It was kind of like getting a hug from her because I felt the love in her words. It truly is a treasure to me! It also occurred to me that some day when I am gone, that my words will mean so much to my children. What will they want to know? What could I record now that would be a treasure to them later?
Even if we feel like our kids know how much we love them, we all have doubts, bad days and we forget! So reading how much you are loved is a timeless gift that keeps on giving! The idea for my “kids journals” began when I realized how much my mom’s words meant to me. My children will someday be grateful for my words whether there is a lot of them, or very little of them.
Let me explain these “journals”. They are a simple made journal from a composition notebook with 3 sections in them. The first section is for “Dates to Remember”, the second section is “Special Moments” and the third section is “Journal”.
In the “Dates to Remember” section, I write information like when they got their first tooth, when they took their first step, baptism date and any other important dates I want to remember, or I want them to know about someday. This is where I “stick” those cute little stickers they give you at the doctor’s office that tells how they are growing. I also write nicknames. You could write favorite toys, food, etc.
In the section for “Special Moments,” I write funny things they say that I want to remember, or a special event we went to and what happened. These are the “moments” that make life so special and that need to be recorded. In one of my daughter’s “journals,” I recorded the story of her birth. You could also include “favorites” in this section if you wanted.
In the “Journal” section, I write about them and how they are growing or how much they mean to me. A lot of the time, I write letters directly to them that tell them how much I love them and why. There are so many special moments that happen when you are raising a child, that recording them is a blessing to you and to them. It helps me to “look” for things to write about.
My kids call them their “journals” and they will ask me if I have written in them lately? I have decided that they won’t be allowed to read them until they leave home or get married or maybe even later?….. To them it’s kind of like a “mystery” book I am writing about them that they will get to read someday. They all look forward to reading them. I haven’t been as good about writing in them as I had intended, however, they will have so much more than I do. They will be so grateful for every little bit! This is what keeps me going. It also helps me not to be discouraged about them. You just start where you are right now! What I love the most about it is that there should be NO GUILT involved! Whatever you write is more than what they would have had, so just keep writing when you can! Do the best you can. I like to write in them on Sundays, it gives me a chance to reflect on things they have done lately that I may want to record. I’ve even encouraged my husband to write in them because they will love to know what Dad thinks too!
I think the most important thing to remember is to just start where you are. If you have a minute later to “go back” and record some things, then go for it. The intention is NOT to record every detail of their life, but to record your feelings towards them and special “moments” that need to be remembered and treasured. Begin now, and “write” a treasure for their future! They will thank you someday!