When I was in college I produced several volumes of journals. The next time I wrote on a regular basis was following the death of my father almost 8 years ago. During that time, I kept a daily diary to record all of my bittersweet memories of him during that first year of mourning, and to record the joys of my first pregnancy. But since then, my writing has been sporadic and brief, occurring mostly during times of discontent or stress.
I’ve noticed that my prose is coming more easily now that I’ve been at it on a daily basis for several weeks. But most important, it’s “forcing” me to focus on my girls. I now look at everything they do with a different eye – a writer’s eye. On the one hand, I’ve found myself evaluating their every move in terms of blog potential. Does this mean I’m exploiting them even more than I feared? I honestly don’t know. But I don’t think so, because…
…on the other hand, I’ve also noticed that recording these memories of my beautiful girls has enabled me to better appreciate them. Had I still been working, with no free time to spare, these humorous and poignant episodes of their young lives would have been quickly forgotten. Smiling footnotes to busy weeks, but lost footnotes nonetheless.
Behavior that used to annoy me still annoys me, but now those feelings are counterbalanced by more bemusement than in the past. I’ve found that I’m more tolerant of their “bad” behavior than I was before I started writing about it, because their frustrating actions are also worthy of the memory book. And it goes without saying that their “good” behavior is more than deserving of acknowledgment and smiles.
I feel like I owe it to my girls to celebrate their lives while I have the luxury to do so. I want the “sabbatical” I’ve taken from work to have meaning. And I know it will if, years from now, I’m able to present this blog (or some printed version of it) to Chloe and Sophie (and their prospective spouses, of course) with love from Mom.