Several months ago, while cleaning (and purging) in my attempt to move out of our last remaining storage unit, I discovered something very disturbing about myself. Something I didn’t previously know.
I am a hoarder. A secret hoarder, which is the worst kind.
When I rolled up that storage unit door to reveal my hodge-podge of possessions, I immediately felt suffocated, confused and completely immobilized.
After taking a single load to the local donation center, I went home, vowing to attempt the final clean-out another day.
The discarding decisions were too much pressure.
In the miles of junk, I did however, discover a hidden gem.
A collection of journals where over the years, I would randomly scribble snippets of the funny things my kids said.
Had I not been diligent about writing this stuff down, I would have NEVER remembered even a few of these funny moments.
In fact, just this week, I retrieved a plastic bin from the garage – thinking Thanksgiving decor was inside – only to discover more lost photo albums and more journals.
I found this:
July 28, 1997
Cameron loves watching Jurassic Park – talks about dinosaurs all the time. He says “Ta-ran-o-sor- Rep” – it’s so cute!
If he poops in his diaper, he takes it off and puts the poop in the toilet and flushes it yelling, “Bye-Bye Poop!” He is thrilled. It is quite the process.
He pees in the toilet. Sometimes.
And until I re-read this piece, I would have NEVER remember this cherished gem! In fact, I went into his room – the teen zone – and read him this story. We both cracked up!
I cannot stress strongly enough – to the moms of young children – get those funny tidbits on paper – or trust me – you won’t remember them!
In today’s computer age, I wouldn’t begin to suggest you actually keep notes on paper, unless it’s something you enjoy and something you will do. Let’s keep it simple.
Simple Steps for Keeping a Kid Journal:
1) Go to “My Documents” on your computer. Create a file called “Funny Things Said Today” or “How to Preserve the Memories of Childhood” or simply, “Kid 1, Kid 2, Kid 3,” etc.
2) List the date, and let ‘er rip. Write down any and all things your kids are doing right AT THIS MOMENT. Talk about their current interests (television shows they watch, list their favorite books, movies, games, and any other detail that you don’t think matters, but later, you won’t remember it unless it’s listed.)
3) Hit Save. That’s it!
4) Don’t worry about spelling (that’s why spell check was created!) don’t worry about writing complete sentences, or punctuation. Just get the shit on paper!
Here’s a few other samples from notes in my “Kid Journal.”
Cameron, 6 years old – “Go to work, Mom, and type really fast so you can get all your work done and pick me up early.”
7 years old – On a Saturday, while I was slaving around the house, cleaning, Cameron asked me to sit on his bed and take a break, saying, “Mom, you made me borne, you need to rest.”
8 years old – After a long discussion with Candice, Cameron says, “Mom, I heard you talking to Candice.” I asked him what he thought. After a few moments of reflection, he said, “Mom, I think you need to work on your people skills.”
8 years old – My great Uncle Tom had just died and I was on the phone with my great Aunt Mary – we were both crying. After I was off the phone, Cameron hugged me and said, “Mom, he is in a better place. We can go visit Aunt Mary and have lunch with her and stuff so she is not lonely.” Only a child has the answers so clearly!
8 years old – We were working on multiplication tables, and Cameron was getting very frustrated. He began to cry, but we just kept working on it, and I said, “I know you can do it.” Later that night, as I was tucking him into bed, he said, “Mom, when I don’t believe in me, you believe in me.” I started to cry.
Cameron wasn’t feeling well and had a stomach ache, and when I asked him about it he said, “It feels like fiery, hot lava in my tummy.”
9 years old – Driving in the car one day, Cameron says, “Mom do you want to be rich? I want to be rich. Then I would give a homeless guy a hundred dollar bill so he could buy chips and a toothbrush, and mouthwash.”
Another car drive, and we were listening to the new American Idol CD, specifically, the song “Proud to be an American” – a very moving song. Cameron insisted we play it over and over, saying, “Mom, this song makes my heart tingle.”
Now, minimize this page, “arrow” on over to Microsoft Word, and let the journaling begin.
You’ll thank me someday.