Monday, March 9, 2009

What Goes Around...

Tonight I shared the first of my journals with my daughter.

I was a fifth grader when I started keeping a journal regularly. Through the years, I've filled an entire bin with these books. Initially, I saved them for me, not for anyone else, especially since they weren't written with an audience in mind. They tell my story -- from my tweaked point of view. They are me, in a sense, so I can't imagine getting rid of them, even though they contain some things that make my adult self cringe.

These days, though, my daughter seems to be dealing with a lot of what I went through when I was her age, and so I decided to share my fifth and sixth grade journals with her. Friendship issues, major crushes, diatribes about school -- of course she'd relate, right? It's been years (two decades, actually), since I last read these, and boy, was I in for a treat tonight. After reading a few pages with her, it hit me -- how is it that my daughter is far more sheltered than I was at her age? The things I obsessed about back then were pretty nutty.

My daughter found it all so amusing, though. I think her favorite parts of the journal were my lists. Amidst the almost-daily entries, I kept lists, mostly based on contrasts (i.e. "People I Like", "People I Hate" -- constantly moving items back and forth, of course). She was rolling, nearly in tears, as we took turns reading aloud from my list of "Boring Things" and "Unboring Things."

And of course, I'll share some of the highlights:

"Unboring Things" include...
  • Lisa Bear
  • piano
  • birthdays
  • Judy Blume
  • money
  • writing
  • Michael J. Fox
  • swimming
  • Jesus
  • Xerox copiers
  • Addams Family
  • 93 FMQ
  • my lucky number 7
"Boring Things" include...
  • Gregg (my brother)
  • emergency warning bells
  • the news
  • divorces
  • hard rock
  • stomachaches
  • "The People's Court"
  • soccer practice
  • Mrs. Shimote (one of my teachers)

I find the word "boring" an odd (and disturbing) choice to describe things like "emergency warning bells" and "divorce," but I remember using that word a lot as a kid. It was a powerful word, really, because it declared disinterest, case closed, enough said, no more for me. No wonder I get so agitated when I hear my students use the word -- not about me, of course. I am unboring. Always. Ha.

1 comment:

  1. loveyour ifi could find my journals from that age...