“What is that?” my husband asked skeptically. “A mother/daughter journal”, I replied. He was clearly not impressed. To him it was just a hard-bound blank book, probably a last-minute purchase for a birthday present from my daughter. But I knew better.
Inside was the start of something wonderful. It was an entry by my daughter, complete with pictures of when she was little and filled with words about what I meant to her. She captured moments and recounted memories that filled me with warmth. But the next step was up to me – I was to write back. Since that day, the cycle has repeated itself many times, as the journal has been passed between us for many years. Sometimes the exchanges have been in rapid succession; others occurred with months lapsing in between. But each return fills me with anticipation. Reading it requires the right time and place – surprisingly, days may go by before I find time to sequester myself for my private read. But I am always rewarded.
That first entry was in her senior year of high school. The journal has seen us through her college years, figuring out that her best friend was meant to be her husband, launching her teaching career, wedding planning, and the joy of her first child. I’ve traversed maneuvering through a job change, easing into empty nesting, performing in a church musical, watching my mom slip away into Alzheimer’s and ultimately her loss. We’re well into volume 2 with no end in sight. Just recently I handed it back to her, and can’t wait for her to read my entry and respond.
I knew it. It was the best birthday present ever.