Ever since my children were breathing inside my womb I have kept a journal. One for each kid. I am on my daughter’s third journal and my son’s second. It is where I record their firsts, their struggles, their joys and my favorite…the things they say. Those are the most precious words to me – not my words – but theirs. If I didn’t write them down I would forget – in the moment I think that I’ll remember – then the moment is gone and so are the words. So if their priceless wisdom or hysterical observation has just spilled out of their mouths, I grab the back of a chewing gum wrapper, grocery receipt and write it down, transferring later to their journals.
The difficult part is translating “how” they say it and not just “what” they say. The expression, the enthusiasm, full of pure wonder, gentle grace, raw joy and unbridled passion, can never be repeated. Those are the moments I want to capture…treasure…remember.
Leaving swim lessons last week my son was having difficulty with his new learned task of buckling his seat belt. His sister wanted to help. He didn’t want her to help. She yelled at him in exactly the same way I have yelled at him in the past. My heart broke a little more in that moment. Our sweet daughter who is usually easy going is starting to “lose it” regularly with her brother. It’s like there are two of us in the room.
A moment I compare to the time she said “Mom, _uck is a bad word, you shouldn’t say it.” Actually worse, I would rather she says a swear word instead of swearing or yelling at another human being. So even though not a proud moment, I want to remember it. I will write it down in her journal. I willl continue to talk to her about finding other ways of dealing with her frustrations as they relate to her brother. I will listen. Write it down. Learn from my own instruction.