I’ve been doing this for years, writing up a play-by-play of every trip I take. If I don’t, it just seems like I forget the small details, and the small details are what I love the best. For example, in Alberta, Canada, highway signs frequently pronounce “Litter barrel ahead.” My daughter and I find that terribly amusing! It’s one of those little details I would have forgotten by now, had I neglected to write it down.
I’ve got chapters from all of my cross-country moves, from Nevada to Vermont, to California, to Massachusetts, to Oregon. I’ve got a record of my summer on the Kenai peninsula, my two weeks of castle-building in France, and my two adventures in Mexico. I’ve been journaling since I was 7 years old. Each filled book is worth its weight in gold to me. I’ve heard of people who journal and then ceremoniously burn their journals to rid themselves of what’s in them. I could never do that. Sure, I’ve got some stuff I’m terribly ashamed of that is written down, but trust me…. 12 years later, or sometimes even 4 years later… it’s not so bad anymore. My mother journals like a fiend, and I hope to someday read what she put down. If my daughter ever wants mine…I hope she’ll feel comfortable reading them.
In fact, when she was a baby, I began a journal just for her. Each entry is written as though I am speaking to her. I wrote when I was still pregnant, about how excited we were for her. As she grew older, I wrote how much we loved her and dreamed of our futures together with her. The book is now full. When she is a hotheaded teenager one day, and thinks her parents hate her… I’ll give her the journal.