There is something about confessing in the journal I keep for my daughter, that I flipped her off as she headed upstairs for nap, that is so satisfying. I’m sure it violates a parental ethics rule in one of those “wear your baby”/ “breastfeed until they’re ten” parenting books, but it’s so gratifying. Just hear me out.
When I find the time to write in my kid’s journals, it’s usually prompted by something they did that caused my heart to burst, cracked me up laughing or caused me to swear under my breath. It’s the things that have me swearing, that have me questioning, how honest I should be in their journals.
Even though I know their ears won’t be as small and pure by the time they’re reading it, I feel a slight tug of guilt admitting that I considered letting the lady at the grocery store take the little man home today. In my defense, five minutes prior to this, he kicked me so hard in the shin, I was hopping around like a damn fool, trying not to shout every cuss word in my head at the time. He did this merely because he didn’t want to sit in the cart.
It was the same guilt, flicking me in the ear, when I gave the four yr old the finger, as she headed up for nap. In my defense, she told me that she was hungry because, “you didn’t make a very good lunch, Momma.” Really? There are starving children in Africa kid, get over it!
The whole purpose of starting a journal for my daughter was to give her a way to know more about her life than what she can recall. My side of things really. It started out as such a love story to my baby girl. Now, though, her quirks and strengths and her strong-headed personality has come in to play.
I can’t find it in me to just write, “We made dinner together tonight”, when in reality what happened was I opened the can of biscuits and she opened up a can of crazy! She burst in to hysterical tears (like Sammy on Days of Our Lives kind of tears) and her pretty little head just looked like it was going to pop off, she was so mad. All because she wanted to open the can. I stood there looking at her speechless. Are you freakin’ kidding me?
I think my intentions in writing these journals has grown. I want them to understand that parenting is tough. I want them to see the highs and lows. I want them to laugh at themselves and their Momma. It is my hope, that when they read them, they get to know themselves and me a little better. I try to use the sadness I carry from never really knowing my own mother, to push me in writing the full truths.
It’s funny how those journals have evolved since starting each of them. They remain to be a love story to my children and I continue to document each milestone and growing inch with love. However, I feel like the struggles are worth documenting too – the black eyes, the full-on attitude, the tantrums, the tears, the desperation for a hot seconds worth of quiet, my challenges with each of them as a mother – who is really just winging it.