Posted by: myroadtoemmaus | September 8, 2010

one of my greatest gifts

Recently, a friend was asking me questions related to my childhood that she wanted to use in a game for a baby shower she’s helping to throw for me this weekend.  As I read through question after question such as “What was your first word as a baby?” and “Where was your favorite place to go during the summer?” I was reminded of how little I remember about my life growing up.

One weekend during college, I was helping my dad sort through boxes as he was preparing to move across town and he came across a box of pictures, books, etc from my childhood.  Hidden in that box was one of the greatest gifts I have ever received.  Unbeknown to me, my mom had kept a journal for me during the first few years of my life.  In it, she wrote periodically about what I was like, what our family was doing, milestones, and adventures.  She filled up the pages with stories, sayings, and memories.  This journal now sits on a shelf in our bedroom and a few times each year, I sit down and thumb through the pages.  As I laugh and cry my way through entry after entry, I am filled with gratitude towards my mom for taking the precious time to write of memories that would have otherwise been forgotten.

If it weren’t for this journal, I would never have known about how I was born with my right hand extended up in the air and how my mom told people that I came out “praising the Lord”…  or about the promises that God spoke over me to my mom when I was only a few months old.  I would have never known about the time when I was two and didn’t want to finish my meal.  I kept putting the food that I didn’t want to eat on my Dad’s plate until at one point, I dropped the unwanted food on the floor and refused to pick it up.  As soon as my Dad leaned down to pick it up, I poured my drink on his head.  Sorry Dad!!!  Then there was the “terrible nightmare” I had when I was three.  When my Dad asked me about it at breakfast, I told him, “A big dog was blowing bubbles on my belly button with his mouth!!!”  It is no wonder I’m not a dog person!

Perhaps my favorite story is from when I was two and a half and my mom and I went to my Dad’s office to bring him lunch one day.  One of my dad’s coworkers complimented me on my bright blue eyes and asked where I had gotten them to which I replied, “You!” and pointed right back at him.  My mom and dad started to laugh hysterically but the poor man was just really embarrassed.

Thanks to my sister, I recently was given a journal that I will use to write my own letters to baby Hannah.  The first letter has been written and now the journal is packed away in the “hospital bag”.  I know that there will be many more seemingly important things to be doing during these next few years and I will always have an excuse as to why I couldn’t have “gotten around to it”, but I am going to try my best to make it a priority to fill the pages of her book just as my mom filled the pages of mine.

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Responses

  1. I think I remember your first word being noo-noo (noodle), or perhaps it was ball. You also got knocked down by the huge lab at the bottom of Ridge Ave. on a family walk when we first moved to Mt. Pleasant, so you would have been 2 1/2. Does that explain the nightmare? I can’t help you with the belly button part!

    As for favorite trips in the summer, Mt. Kemble Lake, Beachcombers (beach club), and Grandmother’s house (dogs and the lake, hammock, trees to climb!)

    You’ve inspired me to keep working on catching up C’s journal, and to start one for P. I’m so impressed that you’ve already completed an entry for Hannah! She’ll be as lucky as we are to have these journals, right?

    Only a few more weeks…

    • Beachcombers!! I remember that place!

  2. Ah sweet EJ. I had to smile reading this because it brought back memories about Alyssa and Nate’s journals (baby books back then) and how Alyssa had a lot of entries and Nate had just a few because I was so overwhelmed with two. But it also brought back memories of you when I first met you with that wild hair that you refused to brush or tie back, your soccer dribbling skills, your “I’m not a girl” attitude, your teasing (Ben Tolson) and testing of all the rules, your sweetness and devotion to your dad. I can’t help but think that right now your mom must be so proud of you and Jessa as she has watched you become women and now moms and as you both pass on what she has given you. Life is a beautiful thing, isn’t it? I really love you “Hardy” girls.

    • Aw, thanks for your sweet comment, Judy. However, I just don’t know if you are remembering the right person… me, a tomboy, who refused to pull my hair back?? OK, you are probably right… and I do love the Ben Tolson yellow (?) t-shirt story that you told me a few years back. Miss you and love you, too!


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