As I’ve said before, I spent years journaling. This Mother’s Day, I took out my journals written when my children were very young and reread parts of them. The amazing thing of journaling is the recording of little events that get lost in the cracks of the road of life. I’m glad I can enjoy them all these decades later. Here’s a few excerpts from those journals, from the days when I was a young mother.

The terrific adjustments to be made when a baby is born are hard to anticipate. It took nearly a year to really get used to someone interfering in my routine. Having a baby to carry around while shopping, going visiting, and everything else is quite a chore. Her evening crying spells kept us from socializing much which made Hubby and I short tempered. Somehow, we’ve survived all the crying, dirty diapers (cloth diapers, mind you), night feedings, and all the other unpleasant chores…. Only parents know the joy and pride that comes with a child’s accomplishments. Daughter’s first grin, the first time she laughed, the day she sat up, rolled over, pulled up, crawled, and walked are very precious to us (written July 8, 1980 when Daughter was one year old).

It’s so hard to write down the little things Daughter did. She would say or do things that would make our hearts swell with pride and love. Strangers comment on how pretty she is, how blue her eyes are, and how red her hair is. When she walks across the lawn, she looks so grown up. She rides on her daddy’s shoulders to go irrigating with him. Occasionally she can count to ten, depending on her mood. She loves to say names, watch you write them down, and later ask you what you’ve written (written May 26, 1981, Daughter was two).

Daughter loves to help me around the house. She’s great to keep an eye on her brother and to let me know if he’s into anything. She folds clothes, dusts, stirs food, and dumps things into cookies, cakes, etc. She’s learned to write some letters, hers and Brother’s names, although she can’t spell them by herself, and colors all the time. She’s filled several color books (written April 23, 1983 when Daughter was 3).

Brother cried a whole lot during the evenings especially. He seemed so fussy all the time and threw up quite often. It really worried me and frazzled our nerves. Then one morning in mid-April, he got up coughing and with some sinus drainage (note: he was 5 weeks old). We took him to the doctor and found he had a bad ear infection. The doctor said apparently the amniotic fluid hadn’t completely drained and had become infected. We gave him some antibiotic and the change was profound. He became a happy baby, content to just sit and watch. He quit spitting up and was just about the perfect baby…It didn’t take as long to adjust to Brother as it did to adjust to Daughter. Guess I was just used to the demands on my time. Things went well for us. I tried to spend lots of time with Daughter. In the nights when I would feed Brother, I would sit and hold him, hug him, caress him. I cannot describe how it felt to hold a piece of myself, my baby, and the overwhelming love I felt for him (written April 29, 1983 when Brother was one).

Sometimes I look at Daughter and am so proud of the way she is going. She’s very attractive and can be very polite and kind. But there are other times when I’m very afraid we’ve lost all control of her. She throws awful fits in stores if she doesn’t get what she wants, she doesn’t always do what she’s told, and things like that. Is it normal for a child to act like that? I don’t know. Hubby and I are trying our best to see that she turns out to be a good Christian woman. We tell her that and hope she understands. The tough years are coming, they say, and we hope we can safely guide her through them (written February 21, 1984 when Daughter was 4).

Brother is such a big boy. There’s a lot of difference between him and Daughter. He seems very tough and loves sports of all kinds, especially football. He loves to wear shirts with numbers or pictures on the front…I cannot tell you how much joy Brother brings us. He seems to be very concerned about other people and their needs, which we hope he always will…He’s awfully stubborn and doesn’t always mind very well but we’re working on that…We pray his good health continues and that he’ll grow up to be a fine Christian man (written March 12, 1984 when Brother was two).

Daughter seems to have grown up quite a bit lately. She has really started helping out around the house. She seems to be taking on greater responsibilities and maturing. We are glad to see this progress but it does sadden us to see our little girl growing up. We love you, Daughter (written July 5, 1985 when Daughter was six).

Hubby and I miss our kids a lot, especially the times when they needed us. We’re very proud of the amazing people our children grew up to be, in spite of Hubby’s and my bumbling parenting. I’m so happy I have these recorded memories to bring back the happy, and sometimes not so happy, times when they were young. Happy Mothers Day!

2 Responses

  1. Lovely journal notes. Four years ago, I wrote a book for my daughter (for her only) about the first year of baby’s life as she prepared for her first child. It was a joy to me (and her) to record my experiences with her as a new mom, knowing she’d be going through the same thing. Even journaling years later can be of immense value.

  2. Amazing to see brother and my personality characteristics were apparent so early and have held for the most part! Thankfully throwing fits in stores did not for me, but that can be accounted to purposeful work from you and dad. Indeed our good qualities and happy lives are the evidence of your hard work and God’s oversight, for which we are forever grateful.

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