Posted by: Cecilia | February 11, 2010

Writing My Family’s Memories

It is hard to keep writing.

There is a Japanese expression mikka bozu that translates literally as “3-day monk.” This label is used to describe people who start something off with zeal only to quit after three tries. Max thinks of me as Queen Mikka.

I was pretty good last week, with my fingers typing nearly as quickly as those blog topics were popping into my head. And then I stopped. I’m writing too much, I thought, making my blog too dense. My writing class was just talking about “cooling” one’s “jets” and that’s exactly what I did. The problem is that once I began to cool off, I also shut off completely. The adrenaline stopped flowing even if the topics were in queue.  

Five years ago I started two projects that required regular writing. I began a journal each for Fred and for Max. In these little diaries I write short letters to them every so often. I started out writing entries every month or so, and over the last year that has spread out to every few months. And that’s Fred’s journal. Last night while moving things to our new bookcase I found my diary for Max, in which I had written only six entries since 2005. Fatigue, fighting (that increased during those first years of parenthood) and the feeling that there was nothing “interesting” to write about kept the pages of the heart-covered journal empty. Assuming I’d never pick it up again, I confessed to Max last night that I had meant to fill this diary up and present it to him on our 10-year wedding annniversary (which is 15 short months away). Now that the secret was out of the bag, I decided to read to him what I had written.

Isn’t Fred sooo adorable and lovable?? He is now 1 year, 3 months, 1 week old. Over the last few weeks he really had a developmental spurt: he knows to put things in the trash, recognizes music from our CDs and DVDs, gives kisses, jogs in place, and just otherwise seems to understand us.

Today we went to the hospital to get my breast checked by the specialist. Even though I am likely okay, I cannot feel completely at ease until we get the results.

So now we have 5 clients…do you think we will continue to grow??

We have decided we will move to the US in spring 2008. It will be a huge step for us…I am grateful to you for being willing to do this.

My writing was barely legible and my prose was hardly literature. It was foggy writing done at the end of marathon days: typos, scratches, choppy and to-the-point sentences. But these messy pages brought back memories my overloaded mind had long ago stopped storing. The mini-reports and emotional outbursts mapped our history as a family and traced my hopes and emotions as a mother and wife. They also told my husband things he never heard from or knew about me: how I loved him and needed him even when we were fighting, even at times we both feared that things would never go back to the way they used to be.

I was wrong. I did have interesting things to write about. Life, whether recounted during peaks of creativity or through bleary-eyed exhaustion, is still worth telling and remembering. I’ll continue writing and I will give Max the diary on our 20th anniversary.

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