april 22, 2006
The thought struck me today that sometime I’m going to read back on these journals and laugh at how much I think I know or how ridiculously childish I sound. I never want that to be the case.
This is what has been on my heart — silly as it sounds. I pray that I would at least see progress in my faith. That despite what I was going through, I was at least growing through it all.
april 25, 2022
I was afraid to go to sleep when I was a kid. Well, that’s not the exact right way to explain it. It’s more accurate to say that I was afraid to be alone with my thoughts at night when I was a kid because there, in the cocoon of my bottom bunk, I couldn’t escape all the intrusive thoughts.
You name it, I considered it, but my three predominant fears were as follows: house fires, leukemia, and pirates. I can’t tell you where that last one originated. Did I see a movie about pirates? Read about them in a book? Why did I peek through the slats of my blinds convinced there could be a pirate ship at the end of my cul-de-sac? Only the Lord knows.
I lied to my mom once in fifth grade. Or, maybe it is more accurate to say that I lied to my mom once because I cannot think of another time it happened.
Here’s how it happened: my friend Jackie was at my house and my crush Zach was at the top of the hill, about seven houses away. Jackie kept relaying messages between the two of us, and my mom—who obviously could see a boy up there—asked me what was going on. Too embarrassed to admit the truth, I just straight up lied: “Oh, she dropped a glove up there and has to go back to get it.” I even doubled down after Jackie made another trip: “Oh, she must have dropped the glove again.”
A few hours later, my mom was getting into her van to leave for a weekend away with my dad, and she told me she knew I was lying. “We’ll talk about it when I get home,” she said before driving away, and that’s how the worst weekend of my life began.
I never bought a hot lunch in elementary school. I had no personal vendetta against rectangle pizza or boxed chocolate milk; it’s just that I didn’t know how it worked. I wasn’t exactly sure where the trays were or what to do with one once it was in my hand. What did you say to the lunch ladies? How did you pay in the end? What would happen if, for some reason, there wasn’t enough money in my account?
So, I brought a cold lunch every single day. I never even considered otherwise. There were just too many unknowns.
In seventh grade, I asked my mom to buy me a yo-yo because everyone else had a yo-yo.
So much of it seems so silly—so ridiculously childish—now. Pirates? Fifth grade boys? Yo-yos? These are the trials of youth. They don’t hold up to the stage of adulthood but the associated feelings certainly do. In fact, these small snapshots from my past are worth more than I have ever given them credit for because, not only do they help me understand myself better, but they also help me understand our kids who, in many ways, are amplified versions of my personality.
That girl who worked hard to fall asleep and was easily racked with guilt and avoided unknown situations and just wanted to belong? She’s still alive in me. Also? She’s alive in my kids too.
What good does it do to laugh at my former self? I am still her, after all—though changed through all my life experiences. I’ll never shake my head at the former me or roll my eyes at all I should have known then. Instead, I’ll say, “Despite what you went through, you grew through it all, and now, you get to help your own kids do the same.”