When I was in my teens, I had a class journal. These yellowed tomes are still preciously kept by some of my classmates, in their marital homes.
My trio of friends (triloon! cos we are loony) also started our own journals, taking turns to write letters in them to one another, as it were, doodling puke puddles and the like. We had so many pretty journals, filled with ink from ballsign pens of all colours.
Lately, some mummy friends and I were wondering how our kids would be like as teenagers, and one thing that came up was the subject of diary writing. A contentious online article about a somewhat-celebrity mum reading her daughter’s diary and feeling that it was a right thing to do, also made us reflect on how we viewed that sort of intrusion on privacy.
|Nothing occupies her as well as pen and paper.|
The cogs in my mind started whirring… why not journal with my own daughter right now? She loves writing, and is always asking me what she should “write about today”. So I thought, let’s write letters to each other! In a diary form.
We assigned one of her many notebooks as our diary, and began in earnest. It’s been about a week since, and her little face lights up when she remembers that it’s time to write in our diary. She wants to do it almost everyday, and depending how much time we have left before bedtime, we end up writing 2-6 short letters to each other in that book.
I thought this is a really nice tradition to start, and I look forward to having B join our journalling eventually, or perhaps I’ll start a separate one with her when the time comes.
I love this for so many reasons.
- Firstly, it builds up a culture of trust, where she can feel free to share her feelings with me on paper. I realised we ask questions that we might not have asked each other verbally. And we answer them in a more thoughtful way than we might have, verbally. I think writing just has that natural plus to it.
- Secondly, it makes sure we ‘check-in’ with each other’s day, and it forces me to reflect on my day too.
- Thirdly, it provides such a precious momento for the future. I can already imagine how this could develop into a gorgeous scrapbook of sorts!
So today I am thankful. Thankful for a little girl who enjoys writing, and for a little girl who wants to write to her mama.
What are you thankful for today?