April 27th, 2010

Journals of a Grade School Loser

Angie McCullagh

This week I’ve been reading through some old journals I was forced to write for my 7th grade English class, and then later for Senior Composition. I’m glad I saved them. They give me hope. Because I? Was an idiot.

Okay, maybe I exaggerate a little. In seventh grade I came across as sweet, naïve, concerned about schoolwork, but with a really dumb, undeveloped sense of humor. To be expected, right?

The biggest excitement in my life was sleepovers and getting a new double bed.

And then we come to the Senior year missives. Just seeing my handwriting from 1987 makes me cringe. It’s all big, loopy letters and i’s dotted with hearts. And, if my journals are any indication, all that went through my mind that year can be summed up in one word: Boys. In every entry, I write about my crush of the moment or who talked to me in the hall or what guys I wished would ask me to dance at Homecoming.

It’s nauseating. Probably typical, but gut-wrenchingly obsessive, nonetheless.

I’m decades past those old entries and I like to think I turned out okay. Which means,my kids will, too. Right? They’ll be as awkward and hum-drum as I was in middle school and have the same dramatic, ridiculous priorities I did as an eighteen-year-old. But, I keep telling myself, they’ll eventually move past all that.

Both Milo and Belle have started keeping journals, of sorts (which I think is super cool). They write sporadically, and their dispatches are things like: “Today I ate a marshmallow. My toe hurts.” Very age appropriate stuff.

And I can only assume that, even though they’ll someday scrawl entries along the lines of “I feel like everyone hates me. But other than that it’s been an okay day.” (real passage, circa 1982, by the way) and “I watched the movie The Breakfast Club. I loved it. It’s so realistic!!!” they’ll, one day, come into their own as reasonable adults.

I have to believe. Otherwise I don’t think I’ll make it through parenting two kids as lame as I was.

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This Weeks Tip

Leave the beach at the beach

Kids covered from head to toe in sticky sand? Reach in your diaper bag for the Baby Powder, give them a good shake-down (with the powder, that is) and “Poof!” they’ll be clean as a whistle (and smelling powder fresh to boot!)