From the time I was born, until I was 12-years old, my mother kept a journal of my growth and milestones, as well as certain events in our lives. She assembled mementos and photos for me in a keepsake book. My baby book gives me an idea of what my early childhood years were like, as well as my personality back then. Here are some examples: I know that I visited my Great Grandma Gray (my father’s mother’s mother), in a rest home, until she passed away. I was a kitten for my first Halloween trick or treating. My dad was a high school janitor for a time, and I helped him clean with a little broom he made for me. A cat jumped on me in the middle of the night and scared me into “hysterics.” I was bossy to my brother, nearly a year younger than me, but we became “buddies” once I was in first grade and he was in Kindergarten. I spent a lot of time by myself drawing, coloring, reading and making things. I was always holding something in my hands. I liked to sing. I have memories of playing records and singing along to the Camelot soundtrack. My mother is a talented pianist, so it’s interesting to me that she mentions a time when I did not enjoy her playing the piano in our home. I wonder why?
I know I was hospitalized when I was not yet 3-years old, for a few days, because my right knee was causing me so much pain that I could not walk or put pressure on that leg. I was also feverish, and though my knee was x-rayed, and a blood test was taken, the cause could not be discovered. I did not like the splinter a doctor made for me, and in the end, my mother was upset by the way the hospital and staff handled the whole situation, so she brought me home and tended to me by letting me “tell her what felt best for [my] knee”. A few days later, I seemed to have healed. In the end, it was thought I might have Juvenile Rheumatoid arthritis, but I’ve never had an issue with that knee since.
My mother even mentioned the time in 2nd grade when I won a class coloring contest and was awarded a Charlie Brown puzzle. What she did not write was what my teacher said as she gave me my prize. I had been chosen by vote of my classmates. When my teacher presented the puzzle to me, she said something like this: “Camie won the vote, but Susie’s coloring was the best.” After that, I purposely colored poorly so I would not win again.
The last thing that stands out to me was my mother writing that I loved to “write notes and letters and lists of anything,” and she complimented my handwriting. I was a perfectionist with my writing, especially my cursive. Thankfully, I’ve outgrown that as I was obsessive to the point of rewriting my class notes multiple times! However, to this day, I am a list maker. My husband teases me about all the lists I write.
♥ Today I feel blessed to have some of my childhood memories preserved through journals and photos. I also kept my own journals when I was a teenager and my kids love to read some of my zany entries. ♥ Do you have a keepsake book from your childhood? Have you made interesting discoveries about yourself from when you were little? I’d love to hear about it. ♥