Heavy snow, silent house. I pick up my daughter's diary, my 10-year old; the last entry was February 4, 2008, an entry that opens with the line,
"Super Tuesday tomorrow!"
My intention was to write on Super Tuesday about how she came with me to vote in the primary, and how I let her fill out the ballot with our choice. This was a personally historic moment I hoped to capture for her in the diary - casting our vote for a woman presidential candidate.
Never got to it, though. There it is - the silence I intended to fill, the gap in dates, the entry never written.
I've learned to focus on writing the next entry, rather than missing the last, because guilt doesn't inspire me, it silences me. There's no room for perfectionism and the tyranny of expectations in diary writing for our children.
It's February 22, and we're in the midst of her school winter vacation. To reconnect, I just began writing about her vacation, and I made a list of what we have done every day, starting with last Friday. Lists are a wonderful device for reconnecting in the diary because they create a container that we can fill with as much or as little as we want.
Saving the daily highlights for her, day by day, I realize that what I hope she remembers most is the pleasure of having free time. Really free time.