Bedtime Journals
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“Bedtime Journals,” Ensign, Jan. 1998, 60–61

Bedtime Journals

One night I settled down on the couch with my children and read them a story about a boy who learned to ride a bike. “Wow-ee, wow-ee!” said the boy in the story. “This is the greatest day!” The contented hero of the book was none other than my oldest son.

I was reading from the journal I had been keeping for him since I first knew I was expecting a baby. I have kept similar journals for each of my children in inexpensive, spiral-bound notebooks. I write the child’s name on the outside, and I fill the pages with fun things about their lives.

Some entries are long; some are quite short. I have recorded stories the children have told me and songs they have invented, and I have even included a recipe or two. And in the back of each journal I have kept a dictionary of how each child has learned to speak. One child called night crawlers “nightmare worms,” trampolines “stampolines,” and raspberries “rabbys.”

But the best part about their journals is reading them together. These journals don’t sit on the shelf until it is time to write. Rather, at bedtime, when I read stories to my children, I am often asked to take a journal from the shelf and read about their lives. In doing this, we remember many precious moments that might otherwise be forgotten.

After we finish reading, I tuck the children into bed, and they often say, “Those were the bestest stories!”—Terri Adams, Sidney, Montana