Good morning everyone!
Today I’d like to jump into one of the funniest books on the shelf: my 6-year-old journal (sorry Terry Pratchett–your status has been demoted to 2nd funniest author in the house).
I alluded to the nature of my entries in this post, when I shared a fantastic little poem written about my younger sister Erica:
“Erica is stupid, Erica I hate/Erica is nothing but a little bit of bait.”
And if that doesn’t sum up our relationship as children in a wonderfully concise and precise way, I don’t know what does.
In my defense, we got off to a rocky start when (years prior) she wore this adorable little bear suit–I guess I couldn’t stand living in the shadow of all that cuteness.
I think it’s fascinating to get this unedited insight into a child’s brain–my brain–my obsession with lists (of names, of books, of songs, etc.), my strong emotional love/hate language, my focus on how I felt each day, my need to make an entry every single day that filled exactly one page (on desperate days, this space could be filled with anything from a big heart with a list of animals inside, to a list of songs, to the lyrics of whatever we were singing in church at the time).
One of the things that always strikes me is that for at least a year, I felt compelled to share a one-sentence summary of my feelings at the end of almost every entry. The choices were (apparently) three:
“I feel good”
“I feel bad”
“I feel medeom”
Medeom. Heh heh. Hunh hunh. Someone didn’t know how to spell.
I’d be writing about something completely random, like how much I hated my parents, and suddenly end with “I feel good.” It makes no sense unless you see this pattern of strict self-evaluation played through the entire journal. Because at the end of the day, it was all about how I felt. Yeah. And it . . . um . . . still is? Yeah.
I was a little hedonist. And I (maybe, perhaps, who knows) still am a little hedonist.
What can I say in my defense? Is it a crime to have fun? Is it wrong to want to feel good? Is it??
Anyway, for your reading pleasure I am inserting some pages from this journal. I will translate them below (with the original spelling) in case you have trouble interpreting my somewhat unskilled penmanship–I was in the throes of first grade and I didn’t have time to shape all my letters with utmost care. The pages I picked are right before our move from Indianapolis, Indiana to Madrid, Spain. Mom, Dad, Erica, Heidi–I hope you are not too shocked at my sometimes violent feelings of love and hate towards all y’all.
Today is Friday Jan. 10, no Jan. 11, 1990. Heidi is the littlelest is so very very very very very cute. I prably said but just is case I am moveing to Spain. I am not exited. but I heard that they are cleanig the place. Hear is my hole clas first, School #84 1990 5 girls 10 boys, Girls Jenna Leslie Kimmy Emily Sarah, boys David Ben Allen Brian Cory Alex Rob Ryan O Mrs Detzler But 10 Boys, Jonathan John
Today is Saturday Jan. 12 1990. Specal Books, Anne of Green Gabeles, Black Butey, Shakespeare, Tales from the Arabian nithts, those are good books & A Littel prinsess, I love that book. I want my own room When we are in Spain. Dad is a softy Mom is a hardy! I fell Good.
Today is Friday, Feb. 9, 1990. Friday is the favorite day in the world for me. Erica is gon like always. When I was in kindergarten I thought I was so great just beacouse I was in shool. Also when I was in kindergarten I saw a note it said, Jennifer no Jenna go to the Jahn’s house there family is, Mr. & Mrs. Janh Tim Amy & Rachel
I hate mom today
I feel medeom.
Today is Sat. Feb. 10, 1990. I hate mom today. today Jennifer came ovor to my house. I found out that Mrs. Stumt nows the Lord. it was enberessing. I may have menchend this But When we go to Spain I want my own room with a key cous I could put the key in the room and put one key in my pocket then my sisters could’nt get in. I would alsoe want a harp. I feel medeom.
And that’s it for today. If you want to see my very early attempts at novel-writing and maybe squeeze out a guffaw or two, I refer you to this post–it’s a good ‘un.