How I Learned to Think Like a Kid for 2 Hours
My parents (or rather, the Easter Bunny, I think), gave me my first journal when I was almost 12 (the top one in the photo). I wrote whenever I felt like it. Sometimes I’d go a year, maybe even more, without writing. Other times, I wrote daily. But for over 20 years, I’ve been keeping journals in some form or another.
Because of all the use I get from journalling, I wanted to introduce my kids to it at a young age. Each kid got their first journal when they were about two; old enough to scribble, too young to write. Once in a blue moon (“once in a while” isn’t rare enough) I’d write down something special about the day or label their drawings for them, but that was it. And since they still can’t write fast enough to keep up with the stories they weave, they rarely use their journals, too.
A day or two after New Years’, I sat down with my journal at the kitchen table and started cutting out pictures of things I wanted to focus on for the year. My youngest was still napping at that moment, but my oldest’s eyes widened and he immediately ran for his “paper scissors.” (They’re red and white kids’ scissors with a regular blade, but they’re apparently more suited to paper than his purple ones.)
He grabbed his journal. I lay a small stack of soon-to-be-recycled magazines on the table and we attacked them. His brother eventually joined us, too.
My oldest cut out a few pictures for me to add to mine. I tried to politely decline a few, but the expression on his face was a bit too much for me. One was a king penguin. He said it must be a mommy penguin and since I’m a mommy, I should have the picture. Can’t say no to that!
My oldest and I were definitely in “the zone,” where everyone’s focused, energy is flowing through without any blockages, and time is standing still. When my youngest joined us, he simply brought his younger energy to our duo. Parenting is often full of admonishing kids about the future effects of their “bad” behaviour or reminding them of past “bad” behaviour (I generally prefer “not beneficial”). It’s the time-aware adult brain trying to teach the in-the-moment child brain about life. But this scrapbooking/vision boarding/cutting and pasting activity had no threats of future doom or reminders of past mistakes. For once, I was able to join their in-the-moment world.
I can see why they fight so hard not to give it up.