Writing Stuff Down

When I was 7 months pregnant, my mom and sisters threw me a baby shower. That was last March. Weird to think of all that’s happened in almost a year.

Anyhow, one of my college friends was in attendance and she gave me a basket of travel size everything for baby in a nice basket, and included in it one of those 5 year diaries where you’re supposed to write one line each day.  (That’s the link to Amazon where you can buy it.) I am terrible at doing things like this and I kind of graciously smirked at her at the time – as in, she knew I was grateful, but I was also conveying “yeah, right!” at the same time. I had heard and seen how busy moms are.  How in the world was I going to have time to do this?

Knowing my thoughts, she gracefully replied, “just one line. Just one line each day.”

I know as the third child in my family that the first child is supposed to have the completed baby book.  I have worked on baby Henschen’s baby book some these last 8 months, and I imagine it’s further along than any future siblings’ will ever be.  It needs work though, and it holds priority over the One Line a Day book.

But the One Line a Day journal just nagged at me from its place on the shelf in the nursery, “write in me, lady! Do it! Do it!” I really wanted to do this for my child, but at the same time, what could I possibly write about each day? I imagined:

Bloopedymonth 5, 2013:  You are x months old and you pooped a lot today!

or

Blahbadeemonth 7, 2014: WHY WON’T YOU STOP CRYING?????

Which I just couldn’t think he’d find interesting. It certainly would be evidence that I had taken care of him when he was a baby.

I also wasn’t sure if I should write the tender things in my heart, the stuff of grotesque embarrassment later (even if it’s true, and exactly what I am thinking, what would he think if he read this at, oh, 14 years old?):

Boopdeeboopmonth 23, 2013:  You’re so sweet and tiny that it makes my heart burst!

Blergedymonth 15, 2014: I can’t help myself that every night before I go to bed, I check to make sure you’re still breathing.

At some point though, that book badgered me to the point that I finally gave in, and I tried to play catch up for missed time and then I faithfully wrote in for about three months. What I wrote included important events, like family birthdays, trips we took, him started daycare, getting his first tooth, etc.  I also took the leap and wrote down some tender thoughts that probably will embarrass him.

I really enjoyed the moment before I went to bed where I recorded my thoughts for the day.  I found that I actually could have written a page every day.  I had to think of how to squeeze everything I wanted to say into the small amount of space I was given.  I started formulating how to write the day’s entry whenever the notable thing happened so that it would fit on the page, editing it in my mind like it was a haiku or a tweet.

Then December 6 happened, and we rehomed our dog.

The day before is the last time I wrote in that book.

I just couldn’t write on the entry for December 6, 2013: “We gave up your first pet today. Please don’t hate us.”

And because I couldn’t write that entry, I just haven’t picked it back up since.  I know I could have just left that page blank, that he wouldn’t know the difference if I had written something else, but I just can’t. It was and still is a stumbling block for me. Maybe I will just write “ask me what happened this day” on a post it note so that I don’t write it in the book permanently. Maybe I’ll allude to it without saying it straight out: “The house is now a lot quieter.”

Small and good update, by the way: our dog is doing really, really well. He will likely live out his days with the rescue lady who is totally in love with him.  It turned out I know the rescue lady’s sister-in-law, and she provided this update.  She even gets to see him and says he’s really happy.  That really does make me so, so very happy to know.  She also says that we did the right thing.  I still feel horrible about it, and always will, but what a relief to know he’s with such a loving person.

Maybe I’ll go back to writing in the book each day after this 2 month break even though I’m now I am in the habit of not writing things down.  I do know what date his first top tooth broke through (January 19) and the second tooth broke through (January 21).  That somehow has stayed in my mind, such that it is these days that are so busy and punctuated with some sleepless nights still.

I used to keep a regular journal throughout my childhood and some in college. Then I got busy and transitioned into a digital world.  I think I also thought no one would possibly find my thoughts to be that interesting except for me, so I could just keep them to myself.  This blog is the closest thing I have to a journal now.

Does anyone actually successfully journal their life or their child’s life one line a day successfully?  Please tell me about your One Line A Day experience!

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