Three bears stood in a row: Papa bear, Alana bear and Mia bear. The three smiled mischievously with a secret held behind their backs. They knew something I didn’t know. And for the first time, I had no idea what they were up to.
Papa bear, Mark, went first. He pulled out a small notebook decorated with crayon drawings, one large heart and five red flowers. The notebook had a title, Chapter One. Mark explained how our love began our family’s story. Chapter One is the story of how we fell in love.
Alana was second and pulled out Chapter Two. “Because I’m your first baby.” She said.
And Mia was third, Chapter Three.
They each said their part so sweetly. I wish I could remember exactly what they said. But, as soon as, Alana pulled out her notebook and I realized what was going on, I succumbed to my emotions and lost control.
They told me to, “Write about us. Our family.”
And I needed this. I needed their advice and direction without even realizing it.
I’m always contemplating what to do with my words. It is an obsession that I just can’t quit. How should I present my writing? Compile them? What should I write about? Should I blog? Should I continue on with my crappy novel? Or should I just write in a journal for the rest of my life?
I always return to my old friend, the journal. I’ve written almost daily about our lives, my thoughts and prayers. It brings me comfort and allows me to write freely without having to be any good at it. But I always feel I should be doing more.
The three chapter notebooks my family gave me was something I needed but can never seem to give myself – permission. They gave me permission to write about our family, our journey – the mess, the lessons, and the fun – all of it, in a notebook.
My comfort, my home, is with my family and in a journal. This is my safe place and they gave me permission to be here without having to do or be anything else than who I already am.
That is the greatest gift anyone could give. And I will use this comfort, their permission, to help push myself to be more daring, to share more and to have the guts to finish a book. Because I know, if I never make money from this. If I never publish a book. I already have books, my journals, to give my children. My family is my legacy. The words, well, they can only say so much.