the night before my wedding, i receieved the most amazing gift – a simple and tattered item that is among my greatest, dearest, most beloved treasures on this earth.
for decades, my mother kept nine nearly identical hardbound journals on a shelf in the den/office of our house. growing up, i remember finding her sitting there from time to time on the couch, serene and thoughtful, writing. i (along with each of my siblings) always knew that one of those volumes was being specially filled in just for me, and that i couldn’t peek at it until it was gifted to me on the eve of my wedding. for twenty eight years i looked forward to exploring what we called “my book.”
among the craziness of the wedding, transitioning into marriage, traveling and moving, i only managed to have a few skims through this cherished gift – until a couple of months ago, when i sat down on my couch and spent nearly an hour reading and sobbing. my heart was absolutely overflowing with love and joy and awe at the beauty of life and family as i flipped those sacred pages.
the very first page includes this poem that my dad wrote the night of my birth:
and on the turned page is the first entry, written by my mom the next day. the following pages include pictures and notes from a loving mother chronicling my life from babyhood…
…into toddlerhood (and occasionally my dad would write a tender, wonderful page or two)…
taped in among the pictures and words were letters that others wrote me, certificates, artwork, random schoolwork – like this hilarious elementary school poem about my perfect man (my mom read this aloud at our family party the night before our wedding, which was perfect! so glad i found my perfect man – ha!) :
the dated entries continue through my high school years and then college years…
and end with a note from both parents in october 2014, days before my wedding.
what a spectacular treasure “my book” is - the story of my life as seen from my loving and beloved parents’ eyes. it’s a treasure trove of memories and the most cherished relationships.
i’ve always known i want to create something similar to “my book” for my own children, but i wasn’t sure what format that should take. i knew i wanted to put pen to paper rather than create something digitally, but i was overwhelmed by a completely blank journal like my mom used, and didn’t like the looks of or prompts in the uber-cheesy baby books i saw at store.
then i learned that my old friend jayne had started a new company featuring really beautiful journals that include lovely, sensible prompts as well as lots of blank space for words, photos and momentos. and i knew i’d found the perfect little package for what my kids will one day treasure as “their books.”
jayne sent me a promptly journal and i absolutely adore it. i’m so excited about starting to fill it in (although i clearly haven’t gotten very far…) and having a wonderful guide to help me document my little one’s lives.
each promptly journal begins with a family tree…
… and then has sections for each trimester of pregnancy …
… a place to include all the details from a baby’s birth …
… and then month-by-month sections for the first year and year-by-year sections for the next seventeen years!
there’s spots for sticking in photos and artwork, and i think the balance of age-appropriate prompts and blank lined pages is just right.
a lot of love is going to go into the promptly journals i fill in for my children, starting right now with pregnancy notes for baby boy! i hope i can create a treasure as special as what my mom (and dad) created for me.