I recently dug out my oldest diary to see how well I remember my childhood. I got my first diary when I was ten and I covered it with puffy stickers of Smurfs. I’m only slightly better at spelling now than I was then. But I do correctly remember my general reactions to the events of my young life, if not all the details.
The most common running theme is how mean my younger brother was. I had already developed my sense of humor, as evidenced by this line: “
My brother and I spent half the day cleaning our room.” All he’d do was play, while I cleaned! But the best line is: “[My brother] is so mean that if I weren’t a Christian and didn’t know about God wanting you to love one another he’d be down on the ground.” Haha!
My memories of P.E. class are accurate. I chronicled the humiliation (embarest) of failing in the tasks set before me. Apparently we were asked to jump four progressively higher hurtles (I drew them), the tallest of which was 3.5 feet (I documented this). That’s 2/3 my current height! I did manage to clear the lowest hurtle. I was quite incensed that a friend came over and said she was embarest because she missed the highest hurtle!
There were some surprises. Apparently we were allowed to visit the homes of our grade school teachers. Also, I evidently had opinions about sports back then! I guess I wanted the Dolphins to win the 1985 Superbowl, for some reason, but the 49ers won. There’s a mysterious “HIM” that I think is “so cute”. And, I didn’t remember that I was actually excited about camp the first time I went. Until I experienced initiation. Also, I thought the inauguration of Reagan to his second term was hilarious! So much so that I had to go see what I was laughing about. cough Funny the difference 30 or so years can make.
I had a lot of adventures as a 10 year old. I went to Art in The Park and determined there were “2 things I’ll never do there. 1) get my face painted and 2) play in the sand.” What was up with that sand? We went on a summer road trip to my grandparent’s home on the East Coast. We started the trip with breakfast at Big Boy (ew!)! We seem to have had some trouble leaving their place. Monday: “We were supposed to leave today but the car didn’t work. We’re leaving tomorrow.” Tuesday: “We were supposed to leave today but mommy and daddy didn’t want to pack so we’re leaving tomorrow.” Wednesday: “We were supposed to leave today but mommy and daddy didn’t have time to pack but we ARE leaving tomorrow.”
I listed my experience at the doctor: “[I] got 3 shots, booster, TB, blood test and one drink of whatever.” I can’t imagine what they had me drink! I hated geography and didn’t study for spelling tests, but worked hard on my science test on rocks. I listed when I had ice cream and when I talked on the phone, but mostly I forgot to write entries (I stated this when I returned to journaling). And of course, my life was rough: “I tried to tell my parents about my troubles and they didn’t understand.”
I was certainly a typical young INxJ child — quiet, shy, old for my age, and mercilessly clumsy. Curious, serious, intelligent, and responsible (but sloppy about details). Annoyed my teachers by asking incessant questions about a topic that interested me. Lost in my own world, and entertained by books and my own vivid imagination. Stubborn, “bossy”, and unwilling to do things I didn’t like. Very bad at adapting to change.
It can be quite helpful to notice the budding development of personality in your children, so that you can encourage their strengths and give them extra help with their weaknesses. (Like science books to read and remedial P.E. help!)