April 23, 2017 – The following is a typed copy of a handwritten journal entry I wrote dated January 24, 1980.
Today I spent the day cleaning house for Georgianne. Earlier this month, I decided I could obtain our food storage by earning a little extra each month by working. But I have so little free time left now with four children, that I neglect important things at home when I am off doing things for others. I want to sew more, garden and work on home production, organize the interior of our house and work on teaching the children.
I see clearly tonight how unmotivated and undisciplined the children are. Katherine has had two weeks to work on a map assignment and did not finish it. Yet she complains when I let her watch only one hour of TV a night or when I make her bathe twice a week. Dishes are never done, chores are seldom completed, and her fine and brilliant mind is rotting away from disuse.
I need to give greater responsibility and establish a stricter schedule.
I laughed and laughed as I typed this. Thirty-seven years later, I report that I never took up sewing, vegetable gardening or home production. My efforts to organize the house were achieved mostly by intermittent decluttering. I know all my children know how to cook – at least some basic meals – but I don’t recall teaching them. They most likely observed and experimented on their own.
As for Katherine’s fine and brilliant mind, it’s still there and she learned to develop it without any prodding on my part. Reading this was like listening to Katherine interacting with Blythe.
The lesson I learned: We worry too much.
I called Mom after reading this and we laughed and laughed together. She said in the next entry I confess to having cheated in school, but she figured she would give it a bit more time before sharing. It's all too funny, and too painfully familiar. Parenting is the same no matter when you're doing it. Makes me realize I should be journaling more because who wants to miss out on moments likes this?