Hubby S decided to change our bedroom aircon and put the old aircon in the den in the ground floor.
Our “den” is not so much a den as it is a storage room. Boxes were piled everywhere from Stan’s office or shipments past that we were too lazy to sort. We had to move tons of stuff out of the “den” in order to give the workers a clear space.
Seeing the aircon in our “den” triggered a cleaning bug in me. I knew it wasn’t possible yet given that we are in the middle of renovations at the back of the house but I wanted to sort at least some of the stuff NOW.
With visions of a clean and usable space that I hoped to convert into a study room, I settled into the sala and prepared to sort some boxes from Manila. Lo and behold, I found my old diaries (yes, plural!). Some entries were dating back to Grade 5 and continued up to my working days! When daughter C realized what the notebooks were, she made a flying leap and grabbed one of them.
She immediately read the first passage and loudly asked some embarassing questions!
I practically growled and grabbed the notebook back from her.
My first instinct was “Get rid of them!” I loaded them into a bag completely prepared to banish them somewhere.
Then, I sat down and read my entries. Mostly, it was about my day to day experiences. The diaries were filled with what I considered my innermost secrets at that moment in my life and it was like reading the thoughts of someone else. I don’t remember thinking or feeling any of these things.
Then it hit me.
These diaries can help me understand what I have forgotten, what it’s like to be a tween and teenager going through life with all the angsts and problems children experience that seem so big for them and seem so trivial to us. I realize that as adults we tend to think children’s worries are so shallow… reading the diaries and finding that I had the same issues and thoughts and feelings was an eye-opener.
I realized that these diaries will help me understand what my children are going through from a first person perspective, my own experiences as a child.
I read my entries from Grade 5 (only 2 years older from C now) and on a whim I consented to let her read the entries specific to Grade 5.
She sat down and eagerly read through them, asking questions all the way. It allowed me to bring up a lot of topics I normally wouldn’t bring up and we had a lively conversation. Some of her questions still embarassed me (because it IS completely embarassing!) but I answered them as maturely as I could giving my thoughts on how I felt from an adult perspective as well. I didn’t regret my decision for a minute.
Now I’m keeping my diaries. I may not let her read all of them but I’m sure a time will come when I might need them to understand and better communicate with my kids.
Pretty sure the time I’ll need the peek into the mind of a tween/teen is coming soon.
Eek… God give me the patience.