Love Letters to my Children
Scrapbooking is not in my nature. Spending hours making my kids fabulous albums is just not me. We are lucky the pictures we take make it on to a computer and are in a dated folder. Their baby books are half done. I always say that I will finish them, but rarely give it much thought.
So, when they were little I was trying to think of ways to leave them a lasting memory of themselves that did not require a lot of stickers and cutting paper.
Since they have been born, on their birthdays, I have been writing each one of them a letter. I write it on whatever paper I can find (I am not the pretty paper type of girl) and seal it in an envelope with their name and the date. Sometimes they are written a week before their birthday, or a week after, or a month even, but I always date them with the birthdate that year.
I try to write the letters in my own hand, not typing them. I think this is more personal and makes it less like a business letter. Hopefully my hands will not deteriorate as I get older. The ends of the letters tend to get a little sloppy as my hand tires, but the beginnings of the letters look perfectly written.
I usually spend the letter telling then about how much they have grown that year, how much they have accomplished, and how amazed I am at who they are becoming as a person. There are times when I include a silly story, or something funny that they have said. I tell them how much they are loved and how much God loves and cares about them. Sometimes, if I am very introspective, I throw in some words of advice or wisdom, that maybe they will want to hear one day. If I try to tell them these things in our daily lives, they may not always listen.
Often, I include in those letters the calendar page from their birthday that year from my Bible Quote Calendar. Sometimes I throw in something that I think they will like to keep, like some concert ticket stubs from that year or a note that they received from someone.
I love doing this for them. I put them in a box once I am done. I haven't decided when I will give these letters to my children. I am torn between age 18 or 21, or on their wedding day. Maybe, long after I am gone.
They do now know about these letters. They are written well after the children go to bed. It's not that I like to keep secrets from them, but I want this to be a surprise for them whenever I decide to deliver them.
I decided to do these letters for a few reasons. I wanted the kids to have a slice of their life written by me, long before my memory goes away, long before I forget all those little details that make up our days. It is almost like a little journal for them that they may have written if they had thought of it.
I also want them to know that they are loved and have always been, even during their teenage years! In the day to day of life, we do not always remember to tell our loved ones how much they mean to us. I try to remember to tell them, but usually they roll their eyes at me. So, when they really need to feel my love, they will have a reminder that I was there for all those crazy moments in life.
I have tried to get others in my family to write notes to my kids on special days, but no one has taken the bait yet. They keep saying that they will get around to it. I will keep trying, because I think that love letters are amazing and can be there in those dark moments of our lives when we need love the most. You can hold them, reread them a million times, and be reassured that you are loved.
I may have missed one or two letters over the years in the craziness of life, but soon, when all the kids are gone from the house, and I am bored out of my mind, I can go back, sort through them, and make up a few to fill in those missing spaces.