Now, I do not have any REAL memory of I, Amanda Joy, being born, but I KNOW it happened, because, duh, here I am. One day, you find a blank book, well mostly blank, but the first three pages are filled in, and you LOVE to read this book, but you do not actually put anything in it yourself until you are much older, because the first entry you write is dated when you are six years old. You just read the first three pages over and over and hope Mommy will write more… but she says it’s your life, and that is when you realize that this is not just a made up story, but that these pages are TRUE!! And you probably clap your hand to your forehead or gape your jaw open or something, because you realize how dumb you have been, because you thought Mommy just wanted to be a writer and was practicing her talent and pursuing a secret dream… but as it turns out, that was not the case.
Personal Journal of Amanda Joy as kept by her parents….
March 3, 1980.
I am very frustrated by the demands society places on me. Why can’t I do what I want to do? Mommy wants me to eat some sort of blah stuff from a jar when I make it very clear that I want to eat the same thing Daddy is (green chilie burritos). Mommy’s learning though… today I had soup and cottage cheese with crackers instead of that yucky “High Meat Beef Dinner”. One point for me. I like to kick my ball around and read but I hate to sit still in church. Yesterday, with that new schedule I caused such a ruckus they had to bring me home. (Ha! Ha!) Papa, Grandmother and Jill came home from Utah last night. I went to Papa’s house today because our heater is off and had such a good time with Aunt Jill. I love Aunt Jill—she makes funny noises and plays with me a lot.
August 20, 1980.
Gee, it’s been a long time since I’ve written anything in here! Sorry, but I’ve been so busy Got back from visiting my Grandma and Grandpa Farnsworth in Arizona a few weeks ago—I can’t stand my cousin Alex—he’s a brat! I liked seeing everyone out there but I sorta got sick from something—I don’t know what. Had a bad time for about 6 weeks. I’m better now. “Joel” and “Ju Ju” are home from school for a couple weeks—they are amazed at how well I can speak—what did they expect!? I can make sentences very well and like to pick out the letters O, P, & T on stop signs and things. I’m also becoming a very good cook and housekeeper.
June 19, 1981.
I thought Mommy would never get around to writing in this journal again—I know I keep her busy but this is ridiculous! So much has happened since the last entry that I don’t even know where to begin. My vocabulary, of course, is about as good as Mommy’s. I’m a little more polite though—I have to keep reminding her to say “yes m’am” instead of “uh-huh” or “yeah” she’s pretty hard to train. My best friend in the whole world is Jessie Staska. I love her. We try to play at least once a week and we, of course, see each other in the nursery on Sundays. When Jessie’s not available I have plenty of other friends to play with. I have a whole army of imaginary friends that hang around. BooBoo & Bobbie are the main ones but Big John-John and Little John-John are usually around too. Little John-John always does everything bad. BoopieDoo and her mommy BettySue come over sometimes. Back-back and Baseball do too. I have lots of them. This week has been a very important one for me. Jessie and I started swimming lessons on Monday. My teacher was Doug; Jessie’s teacher was Pam. It has been a very hard week. I screamed and fought the whole time during my first lesson. After that I begged and pleaded with Mommy not to make me go. I told her that the car wouldn’t start, that Doug was sick, that there were bees and whales and green sharks in the pool, but she made me go anyway. Today was the last day. I was still very “ascared” but I listened to my teacher & really started moving along. In order to complete my lessons I had to be dropped off the diving board and find the side of the pool. I did it two times with no problem! Afterwards Doug game me a certificate that says “I’m a Minnow.” I am so proud of myself.
The only REAL memories you have left are just fragments, so you DO remember the fear, fear that you were going to drown. But you don’t remember what you said exactly about bees or whales, you just KNEW there was something hiding in that water that wanted to kill you. So you guessed that it might be something that would want to eat you, the little minnow fish, and so maybe it could be a shark, if you were supposed to be a minnow. And so, I DO recall telling Mommy there was a SHARK!! And doing a scared run-dance with my feet, but then having to get in the car anyway and drive to the pool because the scared run-dance did not work. And the second REAL thing you remember is Boo-boo and Bobbie. You can SEE those two girls right now in your head. They looked like identical twins, and they had long, straight-brown hair. ALL your imaginary friends came in pairs of some kind...