First of all, despite what this dippy, faux-sentimental post at Babble (“I Read My Daughter’s Diary: How could I? How could I not?”) has to say about it, there’s no agonizing over reading your daughter’s diary: either you do it or you don’t. If you do it, you don’t feel bad about it—you did it, it’s not such a big deal, and is nothing like the bank robberies you committed in junior college; and if you don’t, you don’t feel superior, because feeling pride over basic ethical comportment is ugly. There. That simple.
A smattering of fake consideration from the article:
Breathing deeply, I open the diary quickly … almost as if it is beyond my control. CRUSHES I HAVE. She lists Alex first. I met him in preschool. He has blue eyes and blonde hair. Her next crush: Jill, Alex’s mother, who has been a big sister/aunt figure to Amy. I met Jill at school. Blonde hair and blue eyes. FIRST KISS? Whenever I see her.
How delectably innocent and naive. I smile. And with a twinge of guilt, I read on.
And how about this:
It’s both exciting and sad to watch your daughter grow up and away from you. Friends with older children tell me their kids leave and come back many times before they’re truly independent. I will have to cherish the times when Amy returns and learn to live with the moments when she is away.
In the meantime, I will try to get her to straighten her room, use soap, and put that diary of hers away in a safer place: as far from my line of sight as possible.
Whatever—fodder for the voluminous DadWagon blah-blah-blah files. My main gripe? If you’re gonna read your daughter’s diary, then why out yourself? Did the writer know she was going to write about invading her daughter’s privacy before she invaded her privacy? Was this a premeditated act of oversharing and self-criticism?