avatar

The secret diary of a second grader

Our seven-and-half-year-old daughter keeps a secret diary. She writes each day her personal thoughts and feelings in it.

Well, a diary is a diary. That means it should be a secret thing. She shared her feelings to that small notebook, covered in pink (what other color?!). So far so good. But now she wants me to read it. I have butterflies in my stomach – what is a Mommy supposed to do when reading her second-grader daughter intimate moments?

I have no idea. I clearly have to improvise. I try to protest mildly pointing out she is supposed to keep her personal area to herself alone. But my daughter is bringing up her “firm face” – “Mommy, why not? You are my best friend. Best friends are supposed to share secrets. I want you to read it.”  

Well, who am I to oppose her human philosophy? And, moreover, being a “best friend” is a "noblesse oblige" case. Definitely. I am forbidden to give any detail on her inner world and I will never attempt to. I am reading through the diary with profound amazement. She has written stories about female friendships, its ups and downs, how a given girl is being nasty today and friendly tomorrow (and why, according to her that happens); who acted naughty or nice; which boy sweeps her off her feet and which not  so much (well, she obviously is having a number of choices more than once…). It all sounds so sweet and yet so real.

I learn that she has fallen in love; then she has fallen out of love. She has had her reasons for both experiences and she sounds reasonable as somebody times her age. She sounds cool and smart, notwithstanding the spelling mistakes.

Maybe I should find a way to tear off these pages and keep them for her until she needs to see them again, say, in another 6 or 7 years? Not a good idea, I think - she will know it was me. After all, I am the only confidant with an access to the secret diary of the princess. I will be eternally locked in the dungeon of despise. I am trying to memorize her thoughts but the more I try, the less I succeed.
 
She needs to know my feedback on what I have just read. I have to sound respectful and unbiased (please, let me not slip a single word on the spelling errors!), not like an authority, a lot like a friend with a pinch of the mom’s thing (otherwise she would know I fake it all). Hard, hard times.  I think I do it ok in the long run. We talk for a while about girlfriends and how to deal with them (who am I to give any advice?), then I get rewarded with the biggest hug in the world from the most wonderful girl in the world.

 I am praying that this is not our first and last session of sharing secrets. I am walking a foot off the ground and yet I am carrying the burden of all the shared secrets now... I will have to find a way to live with all these secrets (and the ones-to-come) for the rest of my life. Sweet and sour taste in my mouth, but not as simple as the dish has it. Much more complicated. Lucky me...