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It’s a cliché that’s all too true: “Children grow up way too fast.” This series of articles will give you a variety of ideas of how to preserve all those childhood memories and document how they change through the years.

This month we will look at Journaling.  Journaling is a very effective method for preserving all the funny and unexpected moments of childhood.  In order to transform this from a great idea to a realized ritual a few things are necessary. You need a time, a place and the tools.

Time: when will you do it?  A disciplined routine soon becomes an ongoing habit. See if you can do it after the kids go to sleep or before they get up in the morning. Another idea would be to do it while waiting at your child’s sports practice. I did it every school night at 9pm (right after the kids were off to bed) while the memories of the day are still fresh. 

Place: Find a quiet place, comfy place or a convenient place. I did it in the living room, sitting on the couch with the TV on.

Tools: Find the tools that will work best for you. Perhaps a special pen and notebook will motivate you or maybe you just want a spiral notebook. I used a laptop computer – on my lap of course.

Find what works for you and stay committed – you won’t regret this habit.  As time goes on you’ll be amazed at all the journaled memories you’ve forgotten (and preserved).

I managed to write my journal for seven years – when my kids were little.  I have since printed and bound it at Leave A Legacy, Inc.  Whenever I get it out and read it to our family we all end up rolling with laughter and with tears running down our faces.

A short excerpt from my journal dated 1/22/01:  Today while Dillon and Aspen were making their lunch Dillon told Aspen that she was getting on his nerves. She smartly replied, “No I’m getting on Your nerves,” unaware that she had just confirmed what he had said. Later we made crafty snowmen from some of Clinton’s old socks.  We used some of Aspen’s old socks for the stocking caps.

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