940 Saturdays

9780804185424Between your child’s birth and his or her 18th birthday, you’ll have 940 Saturdays to share together. That’s the premise behind a new family activities guide and keepsake journal by Dr. Harley Rotbart.

I’m a big fan of keeping a journal for my children. My friend, Andrea, gave me a pink suede journal with a flower clasp before I even knew whether my first child was a boy or girl. I started writing letters to Vivi when we still called her/him “Pollywog.” One day, she’ll get the journal and read all those letters G and I wrote to her along the journey. Carlos has one too. I’m realistic that I won’t do scrapbooks and such for my kids, but journals? Right up my alley.

That’s why I got a copy of this book for review. Great concept! Making journaling easy for busy families. I’m sorry to report that the difference between concept and execution in “940 Saturdays” is much like the difference between what we dream parenting will be like and what it’s actually like. Great plan in theory, but NOT going to happen in real life.

I was expecting a thick book of family activity suggestions, with a small keepsake journal in the souvenir pocket in the back. The actual book is the opposite–300 pages of empty journal and a slim book of family activity suggestions included in the pocket.

What bugs me about the design of the journal is that it’s arranged numerically, with a heading for “Saturday #249” or “Saturday #632” next to a place for you to enter the date and a brief description of what your family did on that day. Honestly, I can see a new parent keeping up for the first few weeks, then getting off track for a few weeks and not bothering with the math to figure out where they are in the journal. A free-form journal with a simple space for the date would be more forgiving.

This past Saturday, G and I took the littles to a pumpkin patch for all kinds of photogenic autumnal activities. We played hide and seek in a sunflower field. Carlos picked out a pumpkin so big that he couldn’t lift it, so he rolled it to G and declared, “Pick if up, Daddy.” We went on a hay ride and named the tractor “Otis” just like in the books. Vivi buried herself in dried corn. Carlos patted a rabbit.

That’s the kind of Saturday I want to write down in their journals, but I don’t want to have to calculate that it was the 322nd Saturday of our life together!

The Saturday before that? It was just as magical. We cleaned out the garage…as a family.

The one before that? I’ve already forgotten.

So yes, these memories should be captured, but most families are going to need a little more wiggle room. If you’ve got a baby shower coming up for a super-organized, left brain type of parent, “940 Saturdays” might be the right gift. For everyone else, buy a pretty journal and wish them well!

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

4 thoughts on “940 Saturdays

  1. Chris Antenen

    I’ve never been able to keep up with a journal, but I discovered that I was always playing catchup, thinking I had to write every day.

    My last letter to Emma was to remind her of all the times we went shopping and came home with a lot of stuff because I’m gramma and I get to do that, but I reminded her also that we always bought some kind of cute diary/journal/whatever, then I’d find it later in ‘grandma’s room’ with about three pages filled with nothing.

    I told her something I had to learn late in life. Journals are for today. If you miss a day, you forgive yourself and write about NOW, this day. Maybe your days don’t follow the calendar. Maybe your day is 3 or 4 calendar days long. I encouraged her to start one now. New school year, new way to live, new friends. new things to learn, and new ways to remember the past. I think the fun of using facebook, etc.can cloud the richness of the words you might use to tell yourself about your day. I hope she will capture these days in a way that she can keep them with her forever.

    I keep a public journal now and I’m behind, but I’ll be able to write again. I love you for reminding me that writing is living for us, or — as Pooh would ponder — should that be living is writing?.

    1. WordPress.com Support

      I agree about journals being for THAT DAY. Lately, my letters to the kids have been a recap of what they did that specific day–not trying to capture every milestone, but giving them a glimpse into what their normal looked like from time to time. I wish I had something like that from when I was a baby, before my brain got so clutteres with Self.

  2. Anne

    Can we have a moment for what an awesome surname “Rotbart” is?

    I have tried a million times to keep a journal, I just can’t do it. It seems like after a while all my entries seem the same, maybe I don’t do enough exciting things 😛


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