I started writing in a journal when I was maybe 9. I wish I didn’t remember my first entry, but I do. It was “I’m wise beyond my years.” Cringe. Good lord, that’s awful. I wonder what I had been reading. But despite that awful beginning, I continued writing.
It was on and off for a long time, until late high school or so. In college I remember writing down where I went and with whom, in hopes that the short clues would help me remember those wondrous times later in life. More of a “calendaring” than real journaling. During a very bad relationship, I noticed that my writing had shrunken down to teeny tiny letters. Graphology might be a load of bunk, but I didn’t think that was a very good sign. I also continued writing in a regular journal as time permitted. Post-college I continued with both the journals and the calendaring. When I was pregnant with Boo I started a baby journal, and I’m so glad I did. I wanted to capture the emotions and thoughts as life chugged along, because no matter how good your memory, things fade. The baby journals (both of them) continued until Nea was 3ish. But it became clear that one journal would be filled with cute pages regarding how Boo’s bilingualism was coming along and adorable things she said, whereas the other was harder to write.
Along the same time, I was spending more and more time online. Well, me and the rest of society. I was researching apraxia and visiting message boards. Reading blogs. Hey, blogging is a lot like writing in a journal, I noticed. Why, this might be fun, I thought. Maybe help some other parents of kids with apraxia. Some other poor saps with insurance issues.
And that was fun for quite a while. I’ve enjoyed this time we had together. Obviously a therapeutic exercise for me during the hardest parts of Nea’s life. And things are still hard, but I feel so much more optimistic about her future now. My stake in the ground for when you’ve succeeded as a parent (assuming your child isn’t more significantly impaired than Nea) is when your child can: read, bike, and swim. And Nea can now do all three of those things. Poorly, but she is making good progress.
It’s a funny thing, making a little corner of the internet yours. Meeting other bloggers, and then watching them stop blogging. Oh, all the wonderful people who just … quit. Then there was a weird coincidence recently when several popular bloggers announced their divorces just as the first giant wave of neighborhood divorces were hitting around us. Like the whole world all decided at once. I guess I must be at that age. The age everyone divorces. (We’re fine, thanks.)
Anyway, I know this all sounds like a good-bye. And I don’t think it is. But I probably need to figure out a new reason to blog. Because I feel pretty good about Nea, and she’s definitely been the driving force behind this blog thus far.
So, in conclusion and furthermore, if you have a kid of the appropriate age, consider buying them a new journal. It’s cheap therapy and will probably help their SAT scores or something.