Several years back, when Sweetie Pea was just a two-year-old tot, I was in a ladies Bible study. One night we, women, were sharing some thoughts about parenting and a friend told of a letter writing exchange that she had started with her daughter to cultivate their relationship. After mulling over her thoughts for a few days, I decided to put my own personal spin on it by using an inexpensive composition notebook covered in scrapbook paper to create this mother-daughter journal.
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I had two main reasons for beginning this journal writing process with my little girl.
- I wanted a way to permanently record my love, prayers, and thoughts for her. Obviously, I could and DO tell her all of this out loud, but audible sentiments can not be preserved for long-term safe keeping.
- I wanted a way to create an OPEN line of communication with her. Now granted, at TWO, she freely told me EVERYTHING. But, I realized even then that there would come a day...ten...twelve...fifteen years down the road...that she would have thoughts to share that might be difficult for her to admit out loud or divulge in person. I hoped this could be one outlet for her to remain OPEN with me.
We keep this journal in a central spot that is accessible to both of us. Typically, if I having something worth sharing with her, I jot a quick note in the book and leave it on her bed. When she finds it, she quickly responds with a note of her own and then leaves it on my bed...and vice versa. Often, there will be a rapid exchange of several entries over the course of a few days. And sometimes the journal will go unopened for months at a time.
Admittedly, when we began this little chronicle, Sweetie Pea could neither read nor write. But, that did not stop us from journalling together. As you can see from a few of our very first entries, I wrote short phrases...some silly, some serious...and created illustrations for her to be able to circle or mark in some way. When she found her journal, she waited for the Hubs to come home from work and asked him to read it to her. He would, then, help her answer the questions with a few simple instructions.
Since that time, our letters have gotten less silly and more serious. I have gotten permission from my girl to show you a few of these beginning pages, but for the sake of her privacy, have promised not to reveal any of our more recent notes.
In the last six years, I have been able to use our book to celebrate answers to prayer, give extra thoughtful birthday wishes, encourage after hurtful words from a friend, and simply say "I Love You" in many unique ways.