Sunday, April 13, 2008

Dear Diary

What the fuck am I going to do? I am going to mother a daughter. And recent events have made it quite clear that I am in way over my head.

Current exploits to acquire childhood toys and books from my parents' storage shed also yielded not one but two diaries.

The first, started when I was 8. Here is an excerpt from the second entry: Today in school Bryan M**** atted (sic) very serious about kissing me. You can tell when he feels like kissing you. When he runs around and atts crazy, that means he loves you and wants to kiss you, BUT he doesn't.

WTF!! I am 8 and writing about boys already. Kissing boys. I can't even properly spell "acted" (for some reason, however, I can spell "serious" correctly). Although I should point out that I didn't technically, really kiss a boy until I was like in the tenth grade. It was all wishful thinking up until that point.

Oh, it gets better. Every few entries begin, "Dear Diary, Now I think I have a crush on so-and-so." Sheesh. I was an 8-year-old jezebel.

The second diary - with Hello Kitty on the cover - gets even better. Started in junior high, it goes all the way up to my senior year in high school.

In it, I went through my mean phase with harshly written critiques about everyone and everything. Although I had just read Harriet the Spy and I remember deliberately trying to copy the prose from the book.

There is the awful, awkward phase of comparing myself to other girls: the pretty, popular ones and the not-so-pretty, not-so-popular ones. It is hard to read now. There is the ridiculous, trying-on-other- personalities phase whereby my friends and I referred to each other by names and persona other than our own.

There is the entry written toward the end of my junior year that begins, "Dear Diary, I think about sex all the time..." Mind you, I hadn't had sex yet either, but still. Oy.

Does anyone else think it ironic you can find a sentence like that one in a diary with Hello Kitty on its cover?


The most disturbing entries are in the back of the awkward-years-Hello-Kitty diary. It is a food and weight diary, which I began in 8th grade and kept up sporadically during times of *crisis*. Daily, I listed my current weight, my desired weight and everything I ate that day - along with supportive comments like, "pigged out" and "gross. must eat less tomorrow." In the 8th grade, at age 14, I weighed 79 lbs but wanted to get down to 72.

Okay, I should point out that I am short to begin with and was from ages 7 to 20 involved in a sport that dictated small-ness. But desiring to be 72 lbs. as a 14-year-old ?!? WTF?

Old habits die hard. I still keep food diaries from time to time. Although I have not done so while pregnant (too dangerous for me to do). I can't even keep a scale in my house as an adult. I am totally not in the position to pass along good body issues to my daughter. Or, for that matter, equipped to handle the crushes of an 8-year-old or god knows what else of a teenage girl. Holy frick!


I 've got to save these diaries, although kept under lock and key, so I can refer to them when Missy is 8 and then in junior high and so on. That way I can remember what I was going though. It's the only way I can think to put them to good use as a mom.

Any ideas for a terrific hiding place?


Waiting Amy said...

Ready? Breathe in, breathe out. Again. In, Out.

It will be okay. There is lots of time between now and 8 years-old. We will find out who sells the best chastity belt. And install alarms in her room. Oh, and by then hidden cameras will become even fancier. Plus, I'm sure that microchiping you child we be as average as doing it to your pet. And by then GPS will be included in the chip right?

You will do great. One developmental stage at a time.

Newt said...

Oh gosh, I hope my mom threw out all my diaries from those ages. I'm sure it's mortifying to go back and look at them.

I think it's a sweet idea to keep them around to remind yourself what it's like to be a girl at those ages. You're going to be a great mom.

Geohde said...

You will be fine. Really. Whether you keep the diaries or not.

You turned out pretty good, diaries notwithstanding, remember? :)

(I have to firmly believe this, I'm allegedly havong TWO girls. Can you say hair pulling and clothes stealing for me? Thank you.)


Lori said...

You are scaring me.

My daughter is 7.

What have we gotten ourselves into?

christina(apronstrings) said...

you can do it! it is scary as all-but lots of people succeed. and knowing what oyu need to prepare for is half the deal.

niobe said...

Sometimes (not always, but a lot of the time), it seems that being a mother to a daughter can start to heal some of those difficult memories. Because -- and I'm not sure I'm going to be able to put this in a way that makes sense -- when you're mothering your daughter, you're also mothering the little girl you once were, giving your former self the benefit of the experience and knowledge that you have now that you couldn't possibly have had then.