The youngest, the soon to be sixth grader, sees out of the corner of her eye last night that I have bought some new blank blooks. Like me, she notices the small things.
"I wish you'd write in my diary," she says, unaware that I have recently been writing regularly to her.
But, I always write when one of them thinks to ask, and so this morning I opened her Breakfast at Tiffany's diary and wrote about her getting her first official schedule for middle school and baking double chocolate chip cookies by herself for the first time. I like to write the stories of firsts in my children's diaries:
first word. . .
first taste of food. . .
first glimpse of the moon. . .
first love. . .
In Chapter 5 of Before You Forget - The Wisdom of Writing Diaries for Your Children, I describe the process of writing Memory Schulpture - Preserving the Moment:
"Writing about a special moment is a perfect way to give it a permanent shelf life. Many moments of childhood may live beyond the diary door if you take them there and leave them there. . . You can write a 'snapshot' of a moment that catches your child making a quintessential childlike gesture she or he may soon outgrow. Perhaps this gesture captures an important aspect of your child's personality or future interests. . ."
Endings like beginnings tell a story. I took this "snapshot" of my daughter finishing her assigned summer reading: She is so moved by the ending, and by completing it, she must slide open the glass door to read me the final paragraphs while I shower:
"Even though it's a book for younger people, Mom, you really have to read it!" she says, referring to the book, Crash, by Jerry Spinelli.
There it is, a simple, joyful moment, preserved. She is old enough to read this novel completely on her own, without my help, and young enough to want to share it with me through the shower door.