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March 27, 2001: Belated

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To the mother of two small boys,

This gift may seem a bit odd to you - after all, I'm not sure you've ever been the journaling type. But bear with me here.

You've got two little boys now and a world of magical and fascinating things unfolding for you and your husband and your children. You take pictures and you preserve those memories, but there are other memories that cannot be captured in a snapshot; memories that are harder to hold on to.

I'm giving you this journal because, years later, you can read back and relive those feelings and emotions that go with the pictures you take. There are happy moments you'll want to treasure, but the not-so-happy ones are just as important to record and keep. Frustrations can sometimes be a bit more bearable if you write them down.

Write as if no one will ever read but you. Even though your sons may read it, years and years from now when they are grown, write for just you anyway. Write even though you know you'll read it later and disagree with what you put down on paper, or feel silly about the way you felt. Write in silence, or at the kitchen table listening to your boys play. Write outside in the morning to birdsong. Write by a window with the rain pouring down. Write when you have something to say, and especially when you don't think you do. You'll be surprised.

Happy birthday, and happy journaling.

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