little man to pre-teen

Maybe it’s because I’m a writer. Or maybe just because I’m a parent. I notice the sudden interest my son has in his personal hygiene. The way his jeans that once puddled on top of his shoes now just graze the tops of his ankles. He’s using the phone more to talk to his friends, coming home from outside a minute late, then 5, then 10.  Where he previously looked to his dad and me to plan the family’s weekend activities, he’s telling us his schedule.

David will turn 10 -years-old in a few weeks.  He’s grown from my little man to my young man. A new phase of parenting is upon us and if I remember much from my youth, it’s going to be a bumpy ride!

Which got me thinking about my youth. I journaled all of my deepest secrets (crush on Ray!) and sweetest revenges (told Vesna she looked cute in her new skirt, not!) But there were soul searching entries too. Problems at home, my dad’s drinking, creepy 8th grade teacher…the habit of journaling has continued through my adulthood. A place to let my muse free, a place to rant, to praise, to cry and to search for answers, learning more about myself as I wrote and reread.

Do you journal? Have any entries caught you by surprise when you’ve reread them?

I’m giving a keynote speech on the benefits of journaling at Chick Chat for HGNA(HelpingGirlsNavigateAdolesence) on March 7 to young girls from grades 4-6. Remember that time in your own life? What did past journal/diary entries teach you about yourself? How did they shape who you are today?

Teach the value of soul-searching to your children (or teach it again, to yourselves!)



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9 responses to “little man to pre-teen

  1. Liz

    Yes, journals were dear friends to me growing up. I’ve gotten out of the habit of journaling as an adult – your post makes me think I need to get going again. It’s great “material” as a writer, but more importantly it’s a way to process and stay sane. Thanks for the reminder and thoughtful post. (I’m so glad you’re giving the talk in March!)

  2. I journal in spurts, and when I do it’s usually because I have so much on my mind that it’s interferring with my life. But Liz is right, it is so much good fodder for writing that I wish I could get myself to do it more often. I definitely hope to introduce my daughter to the art of journaling when she learns to write! Best of luck with your talk!

    • Stephanie:
      I love journaling when my mind is spinning out of control. It’s a way to dump my thoughts and regain control of my brain! Reflecting later on what I’ve written, usually surprises me! I wonder “why did I think that was so tough?” Hmmm…

  3. Elise

    I threw away all of my old journals when I got married!! I cannot believe I did that. Sad. I have told my daughter to SAVE EVERYTHING. We’ll make room for her writing. Your talk sounds great…good luck with it.

    • Oh, Elise! I’m so sorry. I threw away all of my old school friend and boyfriend notes from highschool when I got married. I still regret that. Though it’s my past those memories helped shape who I am today. And think of the fictional story ideas I could’ve gained!

  4. Best wishes on your talk! Do you ever read Beth Kepharts blog? She’s a YA writer also. You might find it inspiring also.
    I love journaling, maybe too much.

  5. I journaled from the time I was in grade school. And I’ve kept them all, though some letters from old boyfriends and an embarrassing letter from an admirer abroad were thrown away long ago.

    It’s helpful to look back and see what I used to think and worry about and also to see similarities and differences between who I am and who I was.

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