Introducing My 13-Year-Old Self To My Daughters

In the typical, unorganized style that is my family life — an old notebook of mine from 1981 somehow emerged from who knows where and found its way into my car last week. Surprised and a bit confused to see it, I parked, turned off the ignition and sat alone, silently reading age-old notes my dad had written, doodles I had mindlessly scribbled out, letters I drafted – all from 1981. Every page was filled. After about 15 minutes of reading through this notebook, I was seriously deep in thought. Alone in my warm and quiet car, I was 13 again, back in New Jersey. I left the car and went about my day, but was slightly distracted for the rest of the afternoon. When we were all together again at dinnertime, I shared my story with David and the kids. They asked to see the notebook, I brought it out. I shared funny memories, we all laughed. My kids found it to be pretty interesting to see my handwriting, read my 13-year-old thoughts, see my doodles and my dad’s notes too. From across the table, I watched my daughters as they looked through the notebook with great intensity. Their eyes sparked with delight – this glimpse into my childhood was incredibly fascinating to them. They complimented me on my neat handwriting, my artwork, my writing style — they seemed to really like the 13-year-old me they were getting a chance to “meet”. They gave me a ton of hugs and kisses – I was showered with love. “You were so cute!”, they kept saying.

In an unexpected and very intense moment, the past had come to visit me — sharing it with my daughters made it even more meaningful.

mom drawing + letter

Looking through an old notebook of mine from 1981, gave my daughters a chance to meet the young me.

camilla fabbri

Me at 13.


  1. Charissa  August 20, 2015

    This is wonderful! I moved back to my hometown a couple of years ago and inherited the remaining possessions from my room growing up, including journals from high school. What a time warp! I can relate to the feeling of being taken back to an earlier time in life, and feeling a little distracted trying to re-enter the present. I’m so glad you got to share that with your daughters.