Dear Diary,

79 thoughts on “Dear Diary,”

  1. This is beautiful! I love the idea of using your diaries as guideposts in raising your daughter. It may be interesting to share with your son as well. It may help him to understand girls on a deeper level.

    I’m so happy for you to have your very own place! I also hope you weathered the hurricane without much difficulty 🙂

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    1. That’s a great idea to share the diaries with our son, Traci – I would have never thought of that. And yes, the hurricane day turned out to be one of our best family days of the year – fresh muffins and homemade hot chocolate 🙂

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  2. Fellow word-thinker here. I think acknowledging that you’re in a different frame of mind that your children aren’t familiar with makes better communication possible. Many parents seem to expect their children to simply understand them and don’t get that their mind has changed too much to simply expect perfect translation from adult to child.

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  3. Your post brings up such a thought-provoking concept. The idea of seeing life through the KID’S eyes as opposed to from our adult frames. I struggle with this often! Thanks for the post.

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  4. “and my head is often swirling with sentences, theoretical conversations, random words that have no context. ” That describes me to a “t”. 🙂 Fantastic piece. I still have all my diaries…..isn’t it amazing what we thought was important enough to jot down? And, what we did write about. My teenage ones I don’t look at anymore; they are just toooo embarrassing.

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    1. I know – I’m already groaning about when we get to the teenage entries. They are going to be so melodramatic! But that’s the point, I guess – when you’re in your teenage years, your concerns are just as deep and as valid to you as your parents’ are to them. I will need to remember that when we hit those years.

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  5. You are spot on. We can be empathetic people, but it is impossible to relate to our children entirely. They are part of a different world and face different obstacles than we ever did, but you’re also right that having a diary you can refer back to will help you remember the frame of mind you were in at that time. I kept diaries my whole childhood, and I have often flipped through the pages and thought I didn’t even recognize the person who wrote those words. It is a valuable tool for our memory for sure. Thank you for sharing!

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    1. You’re right – I hadn’t thought about how different their worlds are from ours. Looking back at mine will help me with my frame of mind, but it will also help them see the world their dad and I grew up in.

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  6. Maintaining a diary since last 9 ~ 10 years and still continuing. But i sometimes read the diary to get the total view of myself and the journey through which i have gone. These information are extremely valuable to judge yourself and think upon. Not to mention, they bring a lot of joy of the past, also shows how you overcame the bad times. It’s like a history book or time captured in words. You read the words and you can see the scenes in front of your eyes, some times clear sometimes hazy, sometimes you can’t see anything, but eventually you remember it. Therefore for me, the diary plays a bit different role. Great to know of this perspective. I never thought about this, that the diary can also be used to get the point of view of the past you, being in the present you. Possibly i will also use this idea when i grow up.

    in recent months i can’t find much time to even write a page, therefore i need to cram a lot of info in an entry in a flat manner, with no analysis of self and other stuffs. Which i think will make a gap. Thanks for this post, it was a great motivation.

    By the way, how many diaries do you have for the 30 years on entry ? I have 5 😀 .

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    1. Yes – I love the idea of looking back on your diaries and seeing your joys, along with how you overcame low points. I’m happy this post motivated you. There are definitely large gaps between entries, but I probably have 30 or 40 journals. When I unpack the box I will know for sure!

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  7. What a brilliant idea, too many parents (me included) do not put ourselves in the child’s perspective and therefore have zero empathy for them or their current circumstance. Enjoy opening up your memories that are locked deep inside, hopefully they all bring joy.

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  8. Amazing! I am the same with swirling words in my head that I have to get out in order to get some clarity, and myself have always loved writing. What a wonderful idea for connecting with your daughter! I definitely hope I remember this when I become a parent.

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  9. Big journaling/diary fan here, started in my teens. I’m now pregnant with my first – a girl – and this idea is a brilliant one. Thank you!

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  10. I think this is a fabulous idea! Sadly, my journals from when I was a teenager are no longer in my possession. I think they were thrown out at some point during my college years. I’d give anything to read them now!

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  11. I recently reread some stories I wrote when I was seven and it opened my eyes to what my seven year old thinks about. I, like you, think of myself as empathetic but it really helped. Enjoy them!!

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  12. I’m a big diary writer, too. I kept a diary of my pregnancy with my son. Then, for this 18th birthday, I gave it to him. He loved it. He got to hear what I was like at that young age and stage in my life, and get a glimpse of what my marriage to his father was like. (We divorced when he was a baby.) And he got to hear all about how excited I was to be pregnant with my first child and how much he was loved from the very first moment. I’m so glad I kept that diary. I hope he thinks about keeping a diary when he and his wife are expecting a baby.

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  13. What a great idea! I was never much of a diary writer, but now that my daughter is 15, yeah, I can see how that might help! Yikes, her mind is a wild mish-mash some days and I do have a hard time thinking I must’ve been like that as well… empathy is hard some days, lol!

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    1. I know! I’m already trying to prepare myself for the teen years – I remember my mind being wild then, and I’m going to have to remind myself of that A LOT when our kids are teens.

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  14. I agree with you. Keeping a diary has helped me a lot in my writing. Some ideas for my blog come out of my diaries, and sometimes I need to go back int ime to imagine how life was especially when I’m writing stories dated back in 2001, when the hottest phone was a Nokia 3310.

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  15. This is such a great idea! I recently found my childhood diary and it was amazing to be able to read whatever was on my mind at age 10. My son is 7 and I’m trying to get him interested in writing a diary. 🙂

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  16. Thank you for sharing this. I kept lots of diaries when I was a teenager and younger, but burnt them when I was an older teenager, ashamed of some of my thoughts and confused about who I was – how useful they would have been as a parent since you’re right – you forget what it was like at certain ages as a kid… Faye

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  17. I also liked to keep diaries as a girl, and have had lots of fun reading them lately! 🙂 And yes, it does help me relate to my children, and remember that I was once very much like them, and in certain ways, still am… 😉 Thanks for a great post, – and congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

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  18. I’ve always thought in words and absolutely NEEDED to get them out. During my teenage years, I even wrote my diary TO my children, with the intent of giving it to them as a gift when they reached the age of twelve of thirteen. It is so fun to hear that someone else plans to use their diaries as a bridge to connect with the next generation.

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  19. “A diary that will house her own child thoughts, an outlet for now, and a window back in time when she wants to be able to tell her own daughter…”, I liked this part best.. It is wonderful how you can conveyed such a deep feeling in these words… Great post! 🙂

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  20. It would be interesting to see how closely the state of mind of seven year old you matches up with the state of mind of your daughter at the same age – my two big brothers were less than a year apart (genius idea, mum!) but they were such different human beings – their thought processes were utterly alien to each other. So be prepared to (and don’t be too upset if you should) find that your thoughts patterns and stresses as a child might be entirely different from those of your children.

    (And now I’m desperate to ask my brothers what medium they think in. I think in numbers when applicable (can I recite pi? Oh yes I can) and I think I’m thinking in sounds the rest of the time, but it’s kind of hard to tell.)

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  21. I think its a great idea to look back on your own childhood experiences and use them to help you in raising your own.

    Recently, I can’t help thinking that a lot of the time, when people become parents, they seem to forget what it was like to be younger. I wonder if the reason why grandparents are so good to their grandchildren is because theyve had time to reflect on what they did wrong as parents, so they try to make it up to them through the grandchildren.

    Its understandable that parents make mistakes, especially if its the first child, but I think your idea will stop you from making some of the worst ones 🙂

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  22. Not much to add to the above, clearly your post evoked some thoughts and feelings in a lot of readers, but just to be the 41st person who says so – how freaking smart!!!

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  23. Beautiful idea. I had always planned to pass on my diaries to my (future children) so that they good perhaps believe there mother was once their age, with similar dreams and heart-aches…however I like the notion of guide-posts better, to remind myself that I once felt how they did. Lovely post.

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  24. Yes! I have kept all of mine. I tell people that I am chrologically 40, spiritually 66, I feel 18 and act like I’m 12. I’m a big kid! You’re post is very important-letting the world know that you want to connect with your kids in such a real way. That’s some good parenting. Thank you for sharing this wonderful story. 🙂

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  25. What a wonderful post! I am in a similar spot actually. I have had a dairy for as long as I can remember. What I wouldn’t give to have a Pensieve of my very own. I lost the first 12 dairies in a accident and so I have often wondered what I wrote back then, how my little girl feels now, etc. We encourage her to keep her own diary and she writes in it from time to time. I wish I was able to go back and relive my thoughts as a 6 yr old. Great idea! Thank you for sharing.

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  26. I too have a shelf of journals from my younger self. I think is images, so the moment a word hits my consciousness it becomes and image. I was in my 20s when I realized, to my utter amazement, that this was not true for everyone. Lovely post.

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  27. I love this post! I too think in words rather than images, which I recently found out when talking to my own husband and children is somewhat unique in my household. My bio on WP actually says something to the affect of “words run through my mind endlessly until I finally let them out”… I still keep a personal blog as a diary and somewhat miss the physical lock and key that the digital forms lacks.

    As for the empathy for youngers ages, (or lack thereof, rather), I thought my lack of ability with my own children might have been more about them being boys, but I certainly share that affliction as well. I often seek out blogs and other parental accounts to get an idea of how and why my boys are doing/saying the things that they do.

    I love your idea comparing your innocence to your daughter’s. I’m so very excited that she has a mother with a great *voice* and it makes me smile to think of how you’ll watch her develop a *voice* of her own. Thank you so much for sharing this, and congrats on the Freshly Pressed business!

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  28. Last year I read through my journal from later elementary school and middle school as my younger sister helped me move. We both laughed at descriptions of our siblings and what seemed important to write down at the time – such as the afternoon cartoon schedule. I hope you take the chance to read yours. It helps remind you who you’ve been and how you became who you are.

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  29. Loves your post! It reminds me of my own experience. I’ve kept a journal since I was 6/7, and have found it to be very therapeutic, even as a young girl before I realized what it was I was feeling, the thought of sharing w. my “Oodles” always made me feel better. I recently turned 26, and prior to my birthday I found myself rereading past journals, and laughing of embarrassment of some of my entries. After that walk down memory lane it prompted me to write, http://singleandexisting.com/2012/04/27/evolving-existence-a-look-into-a-lifelong-memoir/ which was an active look into the journals past. I’ve learned so much from the old me, and I’ve noticed lifelong traits I’ve always been proud of, and those that are as attractive. either way, love the blog and made me thing of my own post.

    xoxo Lana

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