My daughter and I have kept a dialogue journal since January of 2003. Early entries show her talking about her friends and signing off with “Love, You’re Dear Doter, Rosie”. I cherish her words, right down to the last misspelling and roughly formed letter. Reading back over the entries I watch her writing improve, both in penmanship and construction, and I smile at the memories each invokes.
Time marches on like a focused soldier, but it cannot steal the words we have taken the time to write down.
I have learned a valuable lesson in the encouragement of writing within our family: There is no measurable value one could place on printed memories. It’s why I have taught creative writing first in our home school; then in schools, cooperatives, and bookstores; then worldwide online.
One of my most intentional goals in this life is to leave a legacy of words. Through words, stories breathe and live on. And in some way, we live on through them.
I hold our little denim journal, turning it over in my hands and reminiscing about the places we’ve hidden it for one another to find. Under pillows, on desks, leaning against vanity mirrors, in the folds of blankets. I imagine her delight and recall my own at finding it and knowing it was my turn to write. It is a turn I have joyfully taken for the past eleven years, and will continue to take for as long as the pages of our little journal hold out—and perhaps beyond.
Words between Rosie and me have held much shared laughter over the years. I remember chuckling and then dashing for my camera when I caught the first glimpse of the picture attached to this post. It was the perfect scene to capture, and we still giggle about it together.
I wonder, my friend, how you might also make words a beautiful part of the freezing of your moments. I want you to know this same joy.
Perhaps you could start a tradition of leaving sticky-notes in strategic places for your loved ones to find, notes of encouragement and love and silliness.
You could do what I did when our eldest was in kindergarten: I adapted familiar nursery rhymes by rewording them to fit our family and the current circumstances. He is now 32, and still has the scrapbook containing all the notes from that year.
We have a magnetic white board on our refrigerator, a dry erase marker attached by a cord. Right now it houses a note thanking my husband for mowing the lawn, a message thanking my family for being my best friends, and a “Baby, you lookin’ good!”
Immense possibilities burst forth when you wind words to weave love.
Might I invite you, even now, to begin creatively dreaming up ways to word your heart? Remember, you are not alone in this. We are a team. We are family.
Here’s to moments worded and memories captured, for all of us.
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