I am sitting in my living room with James asleep on my back. Simone is playing on the rug with her Duplos, building a “bunny cage.” The coffee table plays host to a hardbound book of fairy tales, a hot cup of sweet milky tea, and a knitted gnome. The front windows are adorned with paper chain garlands, in fall colors. Outside, our maple tree blazes orange and red above the rustic wooden birdhouse Simone built with her grandfather.
These are the things and moments I want to hold onto.
Since I was a little girl I have kept a journal. (Jason loves to tease me about the page from one I kept when I was seven, which says simply “I LOVE CATS!!!!!!!!” amidst a flurry of kitten stickers). I use them as free therapy and as a record of my days and life. I write down sweet things my children say, what the weather’s like, that I cooked a particularly delicious stew, wise words from my Nana’s letters.
I don’t write down that we went to Target and bought a whosit and a whatsit and three items from the dollar bin. I don’t write down that I spent a couple hours getting into political arguments on Facebook.
Because those things aren’t what I cherish about my life.
I don’t sugarcoat. If I’m feeling tested by my children or angry with my husband (or myself), I’ll write it down, and examine how to move past it. But generally, the material things and wasted time simply aren’t worthy of remembrance. They’re not what pops into my mind when I remove the cap of my pen.
The sleeping baby, the playing child, the dappled autumn light on the hardwood floor, the dozing cats, the fairy tales, the tea, the cornflower blue sky, the quiet…those are the things I feel urged to record. Not the stuff.