Journal writing is something we are supposed to do. Sometimes I've been really good at this and other times not as much.
Recently, my oldest child turned eight. It was tradition in my family that when you turned eight, you got a set of scriptures with your name engraved, a scripture case and a journal, also with your name engraved. I remember being eight and getting those things, but I also remember being disappointed that it was all I got. No toys, no clothes. Just those three things. So when our oldest turned eight, I wanted to give him a few more presents. We got him a game, a notebook, and a sketch pad. We gave him a birthday party. My parents bought him a set of scriptures. I bought the scripture case. We bought him some new church clothes. In the end, we ran out of money and the journal was forgotten.
My husband only wrote in his journal from his youth about four times. Two of the entries were from high school and about his high school girlfriend. The rest of his journaling consists of the required daily writing while on his mission. I haven't written in my journal consistently since I've been married. I've had months here and there where I write at least once a week, but then I'll go for months without writing.
So a journal wasn't high on the list of priorities for presents, even though I had brought it up.
Well, last week, I happened across my journal that I got when I was eight. I only wrote in it for about a year and quite infrequently. When I was ten, the primary in our ward gave out journals to all the kids and that's when I started to really write. I filled that journal and subsequently four more, but I never went back to that first one. Anyway, I pulled it out.
My oldest son was having a bad attitude moment, so I sat down and started flipping through it right next to where he was having his mood. I started reading the entries out loud. Soon enough, he had joined me in looking at the writing (and the misspelled words), the pictures, and laughing at what I wrote. Then all the other kids joined in. We went through the whole journal.
Yesterday, after an incident in which my oldest got into a lot of trouble for fighting with and really hurting his little brother, he decided he needed write down what had happened. He asked for a journal so he could write it down. Since he got a notebook for his birthday, he pulled that out and used it. Tonight, he wrote down what happened today. He told me that he is excited about writing in a journal and wants to write every night.
Maybe all that was needed to teach him about journal writing was showing him that journal of mine. It sure was fun to read and remember. And it probably gave him (and the other kids) some insight into who I was when I was a kid.