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a few weeks before emory was born, i received a couple of baby memory books with guidelines and prompts. it has always been difficult for me to work (and think) inside set lines. during the note-taking school years, even lined paper felt too inflexible to me. i took all notes on typing paper. i can still remember the facial expressions of people who asked to borrow my notes, after missing a class. my writing was only decipherable by me…and even that wasn’t always guaranteed.

while i tried to keep up with filling in the pages of these books, i quickly realized that i was losing my voice and unique imprint across sheets of outlined boundaries. i wanted to be able to give my kids something that felt more authentic, without a sense of influence or obligation.

it felt natural to begin writing for them.

i have since written many pages—from smaller tidbits to lengthy, more detailed stories and reflections. some are whimsical and full of magic, some have been written with tears streaming down my cheeks, many of them make me laugh; all of them coming together to create this larger, word-filled representation of life—ours.

i love jotting down morsels of this beautiful, ongoing narrative—and have written in a journal for the majority of my life. lately, however, i’ve been thinking about how much of my writing is through a keyboard and isn’t as breezy as it used to be…

i miss handwritten letters and words. i miss writing in circles. i miss side notes. i miss drawing where drawing makes sense—and where drawing makes no sense at all. i miss the smell of paper. i miss being careful around fresh ink. i miss not being able to go back and change a thought or a feeling that i experienced a day or a year ago.

all of these longings have lead me to a new journal, a smearable pen…
and a plan to spend time with both—
continuing to scribble down small slices of life, unedited.