About Dear Jalen

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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!

With Love,

Robin

21 thoughts on “About Dear Jalen”

  1. I think you have a great idea! My children are all adults. However, I have also started a separate private blog for them with photos that span from today to many years before I was even a thought in my parent’s mind. My plan is to give them the information in a few years to access it … after I have time to get a lot of good information & photos on there. But, I do have a back up plan for them to find it if I am not around as long as I plan to be 🙂 I do look forward to seeing more of your posts!

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  2. I am very much like you regarding pictures and memories of my childhood, but I am trying to remember some. This is an excellent idea to do this now for your daughter. And I love the point about your daughter’s baby book being good intentions. Much the same for my daughter’s baby book. Good luck with this project.

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  3. Can’t wait to read more. I have two teens. I am so happy I filled out the baby books, although I hated doing it at the time. It was such a struggle!! I cherish the few videos I took of them. I wish I had embarked upon a project like your blogumentary. This will be a treasure for Jalen AND for you as well, when, seemingly 5 minutes from now, she is packing up to leave the house and make her own way in the world.

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    1. Thank you so much for your encouragement @remedialprof! I found filling out the book to be a struggle too. I had collected a few things but they were all thrown together in a box. I’m now faced with all kinds of photos and video clips all randomly stored in various areas. I’m hoping this blog will help me to get those out of hiding and posted/organized. 🙂 You know, it’s never too late to start a second blog like this for your teens too. You can go through their photos, scan them and write posts about each. I’d tune in to that! The photos I’ve gone through have jogged my memory on other things I had temporarily forgotten.

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  4. I am not a parent, still have a long way to go before I have kids, but when I do have kids this is something I would do. keep a journal/documentary, but mind wouldn’t be online, it would be on paper. Something that one day they could find in a old box, and be able to see and read my own hand writing along with pictures, know that it was me, writing that journal/documentary. Good Luck with your project.

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  5. This is a great idea. I am hoping for my children to remember the times we spent together but I guess everyone forgets after some time- so a blog is a really good idea.
    Keep writing, so she will have a great reading and growing experience.

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    1. Thank you so much for your encouragement! It was daunting for me to begin writing a blog but it has been a very rewarding experience in the short time I’ve been pursuing it. I’m looking forward to how it may evolve over the upcoming weeks.

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  6. I’m not a parent but I can tell you that if I were your daughter I know I would treasure your documentation and words … on a separate note -I have just nominated you for a Very Inspiring Blogging Award. I would be delighted if you chose to accept, but if you prefer not to I surely do understand. You can read my nomination post and the rules on my blog if you are interested.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much @ibdunn! I’m incredibly flattered to receive your nomination. I felt uncertain at times starting this blog but the encouragement I’ve received from others like you has been incredibly reassuring. Thank you again.

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  7. Baby books are honestly over rated ….I never even bought one for any of my 3 kids….but I do however follow them around with a camera constantly and have photographed them to the point that now they sometimes roll their eyes at me when they see camera in hand. Looking forward to reading your blog 🙂

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  8. I appreciate your idea; I have written some of the blogs recollecting my childhood memories and more ; I will be following yours for my own learning as how to improve my own writing and will request you to follow mine for your comments and suggestions for improvements.
    with greetings

    Liked by 1 person

  9. An impressive share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a co-worker who was doing a little research on this. And he in fact ordered me lunch due to the fact that I found it for him… lol. So allow me to reword this…. Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending time to talk about this issue here on your web page.

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