I’m incredibly embarrassed to admit that I have only a few memories of my childhood. I’m not exactly sure why that is. Over the years following my parents passing, I was sometimes curious to know a tidbit or two. I wondered what I was like as a baby. What was my favorite story as a child? What did I love to play?
I guess I always expected my parents to be there when I married my husband. When we bought our first home. When I became pregnant. When I gave birth to their granddaughter. I didn’t expect to navigate these milestones on my own, guessing their reactions.
I sifted through the old photographs left behind. A picture here, a picture there, each was taken to preserve a special moment in time. With each photo my curiosity only grew stronger. Gazing down at the image, I wondered what the day was like. What prompted this photograph to be taken at this moment? What about this particular photograph made it so meaningful to save for so many years?
I also flipped through the baby book that was filled out for me. It contained all the basic information you would expect to find in a typical baby book but everything I really wanted to know was missing.What was my mom’s pregnancy like? Did she have nausea the entire 9 months like I did with our daughter? What was my father’s reaction to finding out I was on the way? Nowhere did it capture my father’s thoughts. Was it difficult taking care of Mom throughout the pregnancy? The baby book recorded the facts, but it did not tell the story.
My questions left unanswered are the inspiration for my blog http://www.DearJalen.com. Dear Jalen is my way of giving our daughter more than basic facts and a few snap shots here and there. I began writing this blog in a way that tells the story behind the photographs and a means for me to pass along some of the life lessons I’ve learned along the way. It is my hope that by sharing our story, she won’t be left with unanswered questions. She’ll have answers to questions she doesn’t yet know she has, and she’ll have a part of her family story documented to share with generations to come.
The best part? I’d like for you to join me. My inspiration is also my passion to encourage other parents (past, present and future) to write for their children, too. The Dear Jalen Guided Writing Community I’ve created makes it easy for you to get started. Join me. It’s entirely free.
When you sign up via my self-hosted website www.DearJalen.com, you’ll be a part of the #DearJalen writing community. As a part of this community, you’ll periodically receive a new writing prompt via email to help guide you in telling your family story. Families come in a variety of shapes and sizes and all are welcome here. Each writing prompt is designed to encourage you to share your guidance, your advice, your life lessons, your love for your child(ren). You can use these writing prompts to write in a personal journal, to scrapbook or for content in your own personal blog. Share as little or as much as you wish. It’s never too late or too soon to begin.
Follow my blog and join my community on my new self-hosted website www.DearJalen.com. I’m looking forward to meeting you!