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parents: get your kid a journal!


The irony of this is not lost on me. I spent my entire adolescence trying to make sure that NO ONE read my diaries, and here I am, posting them on the internet for all to see. But hey, I was 8 years old in most of these entries, so there’s really nothing too earth shattering here, unless you’re particularly interested in what I had for breakfast on October 12, 1978. But the thing is, they are so amazing to read now. At least they are for me (and hopefully somewhat entertaining for you).

My dad gave me my first journal for my 8th birthday. I distinctly remember not totally understanding what it was for, this odd little book with blank pages. But then he showed me his, a much more serious-looking, large black book, and he showed me how he would write in the date and some notes about his thoughts or what was important about the day. Apparently I took to the medium, as I now have pages and pages of crayon, pencil and marker- written notes about the minutiae of my life as a kid in the ’70s.

I know in this age of internet and blogs and video games, a journal is probably not at the top of most kids’ wish lists. It wasn’t at the top of mine, either. But every once in a while when I’m looking for something else I’ll stumble across these little diaries and read a couple of pages, and it’s like having a little time machine that can transport me back to age 8. What a gift!

I’m pretty sure I didn’t know who Hubert Humphrey was at age 8, but apparently I was aware that he was important…

For the record, I now love The Little Prince. Thanks again, Sue (best 3rd grade teacher ever), for making me finish it.

(my poor brother, Josh, was all of 5 at this point.)

I still love Mary Cassatt…




  • Candied Fabrics

    Smart Mom to not let February go by without cherry pie! Priceless!

  • ShareWorldLove

    Soooo cute! I love that you ended your journal “The End”. It’s always great to look back and see what you did as a kid.


  • Elizabeth

    Hello, I found you blog via Posie gets cozy,and had fun reading some of your posts. Looks like we live pretty close to one another as well. I’m though the tunnel on 24.
    Recently we came across my daughters journal when she was in grade school, she is now 19, and had a very good laugh. Yours was fun to peak into :)Thanks for sharing

  • Melanie O

    Thanks for sharing, this is great! For the record, my 8-year-old has several journals for writing and drawing and she loves them!

  • monaluna

    That’s great, Melanie! Hopefully her spelling is better than mine was… thank god for spellcheck!

  • bellathreads

    That is amazing. Makes me wish I hadn’t tossed all my journals when I was a teenager. Thanks so much for sharing.

  • saltina

    i love you all over again.

  • Mojo

    Jenn, These are absolutely precious!! Thanks for reading to me and making me soup!! I wonder why I was so lazy in 1979 “almost like when he broke his leg when he was four!” 🙂 Glad you were picking up on your drawing skills early!! Love you!

  • Susanna Mendiola

    Timely post for me because I recently found some teenager’s (I think) journal on a very high top shelf in the closet of my rental! How wild! I read a bit of it, nothing crazy or scandalous. I put it back up there on that shelf cause I don’t really know what to do with it.

  • Susan McAninch

    In one of your journal entries, Jenny, you say you love Mary Cassatt. You say, “She changed my life of drawing!” You were so exuberant about such an important artist. You will always remain close to my heart, dear Jenny!!!
    Susan Reuter McAninch

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