Book review: For My Children - A Mother's Journal of Memories, Wishes and Wisdom

I talk to my adult daughters nearly every single day. But it's the day in, day out kind of chit chat, not deep conversations about the past and moments that made a difference, made us who we are. There's just not time for that as life and living now gets in the way.

Dionna Ford, author of For My Children: A Mother's Journal of Memories, Wishes and Wisdom apparently felt the same way. In the introduction to her book (which I received for free for review), Ford writes, "My mom and I rarely find the time—or make a concerted effort—to delve into family history or chat about fun, random questions."

For My Children ($14.95, Ulysses Press) is Ford's way of remedying that. It's a journal featuring one thought-provoking question per page, with plenty of room for Mom to respond there. The book is divided into seven categories—Motherhood, Family and Home, Children, Life Wisdom and Wishes, Love and Relationships, You in the World, On Being You—with related questions for each category.

This isn't the kind of journal a young mother pens for her little ones so they know where Mommy came from and what memories she has of Christmas, her grandparents, her favorite pastime when she was 10 years old. No, these are the kinds of things a young adult woman, possibly a mother, might want to ask her own mother—if only she had the time.

What I loved about the book: The questions are different than what's typically found in similar journals. Questions such as "What are the themes of your recurring, favorite, or worst dreams?", "What lifts your spirits when you experience sadness or depression?","What do you value most about your children?" and "What have you been putting off until 'someday' that you wish you hadn't?" to name just a few. And there's plenty of space for responding, not just a few blank lines. I also enjoy the spare but colorful illustrations by Melanie Mikecz throughout. They add a touch of whimsy without seeming cloying.

Bottom line: For My Children: A Mother's Journal of Memories, Wishes and Wisdom would make a lovely gift for a mother, who would in turn—after completing it, in her own handwriting—offer it as a unique and heartfelt, heart-filled gift to her daughter.

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