December 29, 2011

Her Diary

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“your handwriting. the way you walk. which china pattern you choose. it's all giving you away. 
everything you do shows your hand. everything is a self portrait. everything is a diary.” 


This is my bedside table. On it, there are stacks of paperback books- some I thumb through as a reference, like What to Expect the Second Year, while others, like the Jimmy Stewart biography, are patiently waiting to be read. My glasses rest there at night, next to my lamp and a couple candles. There is a box of Kleenax, a few bottles of lotion, and a glittery body mist I thought a necessity a long time ago.

And Millie's diary.

She doesn't know just yet that she has a diary, but there it sits. Given to me by a dear friend a few months before Millie's birth, it's a journal spanning five years, with about 5 blank lines to fill in every day. And it is full of insignificance, mostly. Words are no doubt misspelled. The first six months chronicle many sleepless nights. There are days where my frustrations as a new mother are evident.

But there are bits of entries- of those few, thin lines- that are love letters to my daughter.

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Some things are silly, but beg not to be forgotten.

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Some are so small, I'm not sure even she will read through them someday.

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There are pages with little stars signaling an important first. They are scrawled in more slanted, messy handwriting, telling of my excitement as I wrote. I hope she won't mind.

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I have the short list of things I would carry from a house ablaze. My camera, because pictures are memories. Our social security cards, because they're needed. And Millie's diary. Because history is so important- especially her own.

And I tell myself, of course, that is little book is for her. Someday, she can leaf through the pages and read all about her daily life, her triumphs, and the food that made her nose wrinkle up. After all, the best childhood stories are the ones you're in. But sometimes at night, after I've written that day's entry, I turn back a month. Then another. And I find myself reading my daughter's story, and reliving those memories with perfect clarity.

My biggest hope for her is to know, every single day, how immensely significant she is.

20 kind comments from you:

Fran said...

This is such a cute idea! I'll definitely have to do something like this when I have kiddos!

Melissa said...

I love this! I wish I had a book like this it's always those little moments that you want to hold onto forever and this is a great way to remember those. I would do the same as you looking back and remembering those days.
Such a sweet post

beka said...

now thaaaat melted my heart.


that is such a special idea. and it's easy--one liners....er, not so easy, when those paragraph times come and it's hard to contain the handwriting and brain to a short bit of space. :)

Thisisme. said...

I just love this post, and what a brilliant idea to keep that diary for Millie! I hope you don't mind if I borrow that quote right at the very beginning.

Hi, I'm Michelle said...

That's so sweet! I hope I remember to do this when I have a baby. Those seemingly insignificant moments can turn out to be the sweetest memories someday.

Kaylee said...

Such a precious idea! I love that she will have this tangible evidence of her first few years - I know she will cherish it!

Kathryn said...

Oh my heavens I LOVE this idea!! So sweet and what a treasure for both you and Millie someday!

Allie said...

Such a neat idea! My grandfather does something similar for himself, a one liner diary every year... I really do love it!

Ashley said...

My mom kept a diary during her pregnancy with my sister and my first year. She gave it to me after I found out I was pregnant with Emma. I loved reading it, and hearing her thoughts about my first word, steps, and birthday. Plus, her thoughts on the everyday. How she hated leaving me with a babysitter so she could work, and how excited she was about giving me a little sister to play with. I have cherished that diary, and because of it, I kept a diary during my pregnancy and Emma's first year. I wanted to give her something, to show her how loved she was from the first moment. I think it's awesome you are doing the same thing for Millie :)

Laura Darling said...

This is one of the sweetest things I've ever read. What a lucky girl you have.

Jane said...

Awww this is the coolest thing ever! I really want to do this when I get pregnant.

Deanna said...

This is amazing! I barely keep up with baby books (OK, I am failing at that too) Good for you! She will treasure this so much!

Dolli-Mama said...

I love this! I am going to looke for a book like this. I love how you can see what you wrote the year before every year. So great. This is a fabulous idea!

charla beth said...

beyond precious.
i have no doubt that, not now, not EVER, will millie ever have to wonder if she is loved. it simply pours out of you.

____j said...

This is so sweet and touches a special place in my heart. I was in high school before I got old enough to really want to know my mom. She had passed away many years before, but luckily I had her written words. I got to know her through her diary. And I won't lie...At times I was angry with her. But I learned a lot. And I learned to love someone I never really got to know. I wish I would have thought to do something like this.

Allison said...

I love this! I am planning on keeping a journal for my kids when I have them.

lindsathy loves said...

that is so special..what an amazing thing to look back on the highlights that each day brought :)

Katie said...

This is so sweet! I bought my sister the regular One Line A Day journal for her birthday & I saw the Mom's one when I bought hers and I think I'm going to stock up on them to give at baby showers. It's like the perfect gift. I love this idea for Mamas :)

It's a Dog Tag Wife Life said...

So Sweet. She'll love reading this one day.

MrsMcDancer said...

Such an amazing idea and so wonderful to remind her that she is so greatly loved.

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