Treasured Gift: A Mom’s Journals

canstockphoto23563795“Do you think they’ll read these?” my son-in-law asked as he helped me insert the plastic-protected pages between the covers of the two navy blue albums late Christmas Eve 2007.

“I know they will.” I smiled, more to myself than at him. I knew in the deepest abyss of my heart that I was giving my daughters a treasured gift.

The timing was perfect as both girls looked forward to life-changing joys: Bethany’s pregnancy for her second child, Jill’s after-Christmas wedding. They faced the future, but my gift transported them to the past.

On May 9, 1981, only days before my 24th birthday and a few months before my first pregnancy, I wrote on the first page of my first blank book. I’ve filled up enough blank books since then to fill a small plastic tote. Books I allowed no one to read.

Until that Christmas.

I typed selected entries from each journal using a cursive font, scanned and inserted photos, and printed the entire document, twice, onto pale mauve paper. Thanks to my intermittent journal-keeping, I gave my girls the gift of knowing me when I was a young wife and new mother. I shared childhood anecdotes about them and their younger brother. I entrusted them with joys and with sorrows. And, yes, Bethany and Jill read their copies just as I knew they would.

Laughing. Crying.

Because of a Christmas gift begun before I knew them. If you keep a journal, consider sharing the gift of your younger self with your loved ones. Or begin keeping a journal now.

Your today-words are a future treasure.

Merry Christmas!

{Note: This post, slightly edited, originally appeared on my former blog on December 23, 2009. }

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4 thoughts on “Treasured Gift: A Mom’s Journals

  1. Johnnie, I love this. I have kept journals in the past … and I’m so glad I did. I pull them out and read the funny things that the girls said, etc. We laugh so hard. I haven’t been too good lately at writing in a journal … you’ve really encouraged me to start back.

    • You have made my day, Shelli! It’s so much fun to relive those times we think we’ll never forget. But sometimes we do if we don’t write ’em down. (P.S. Don’t you just love having daughters?!)