for the past nine months the girls have (more or less) been keeping a journal and it has been awesome. long before i ever had children i planned how i would have "journal sundays" every sunday, i've even got it written down in a journal of my own somewhere.. we would come home from church and, after a healthy snack, we'd all sit down to reflect on our week and write in our journals. i would gently encourage the kids and we'd all smile.. that vision makes me laugh. the reality is much less serene but (mostly) much more fun. healthy sunday snacks have been replaced by desperate fistfuls of tortilla chips and doughnuts (it's true.. the deperate post-church hunger is satisfied by whatever chip sees first when he opens the cupboards), the journal writing is completely sporadic and sometimes totally enforced on reluctant little girls, but the records eve and ruth have of their own lives so far are pretty perfect in their sweetness, their craziness, and their awesome truthfulness.
eve. may 4, 2009. "no i don't like diurreah. i liked waching angelena ballrena"
ruth: april 21, 2009
mom: what did you want to say about your day?
ruth: i didn't want to say about my day
m: what is this picture?
m: what else?
r: i don't want to tell you.
eve: may 10, thursday. "i loved the little mermaid at times square."
ruth: may 10, 2009 "this is ariel and flounder. i goed to the little mermaid at the play. it was in Times Square. my favorite part was when ariel got the pink dress and when she got married. my daddy was named chip and i watched a play with dad. i wish i could see ariel again because i wish i could see the married part again."
to make "keeping a journal" something approachable i gave the girls a very simple formula to start with: draw or write about their favorite part of the day/week along with their least favorite. eve was totally in from the moment i introduced the idea and has stuck to the formula with few exceptions. ruth, on the other hand, heard the plan, made a bizarre face, rolled over and began complaining about not knowing any real princesses.. she has mostly stuck to her own formula of journal keeping, which at the beginning involved her drawing about whatever she wanted to while i pestered her to tell me about it. but now that she is starting to not only draw but write on her own (and realizing just how long it takes to make all those words) the formula is coming in handy, even for ruthie who likes to do everyhting her own way.
(two page spread) eve: june 3, 2009 "no i do l" [beginnings of "no i don't like"] june 4, 2009 "i poukt [puked] on charlies birthday. today i lovee ma-king the teve purojec [tv project]."
ruth: june 2, 2009
ruth: 10.9.09, "keira, tessa, eden, monet, malena, ruth, ms. jin. we're all starting a show on the stage."
eve: october 9, 2009. "i like gayb"
ruth: january 15, 2010. "planetarium. i did not like when it exploded i liked the gas of the sun."
there is so much i love about ruth's and eve's magical journals. i love that they don't think too much about what they record, they just do it. i love that they want me to look at everything they draw and write, because i know that won't last. and i love having this record of their drawing and writing progression. but most of all i love that it is their own marks that fill each page. it is all their own words, their own takes on their own lives, not my interpretation or perspective, but theirs. just as journals should be.
next up: the making of the journals.