Letters are becoming a dying form of communication. In our house, my kids get cards and letters from their grandmothers. When my kids go to college, I am sure I will e-mail or text or Facebook them to keep in contact.
I remember how excited I was when I got to read the blue airmail letters from my grandmother in England. My family lived in the U.S. — New Jersey to be precise. We returned to England most summers. Staying in contact with my grandmother plus our other relatives was important. Phone calls were prohibitively expensive. Once my English family recorded a message on a cassette tape. We returned the tape to them with a message from our family. I still have that tape.
I want to write a letter to each of my children, so that they know they are loved beyond measure despite the fast, frenetic pace of our family life. In a nod to my blogging and online writing roots, I will write letter on this blog.
I am writing this letter to my children as part of the Baltimore Sun’s Mother’s Day Letters project. Note: For reasons of safety and security, I don’t refer to my children by name on my blog, but rather refer to them as “the teen,” “the preteen,” and the “the kid.”
You have never been shy about letting me know what you feel.
As a baby you only took a bottle on the 3rd try. You refused to be fed with a spoon to the point where I had to make your oatmeal super thick so that it would stick to your fingers. You insisted on dressing yourself even though putting on pantyhose is impossible for a 2-year-old. You walked out of your preschool classroom because you wanted to go to kindergarten NOW. I could go on, but you get the idea.
Last year when you became a teen, I was secretly worried. You have always been so determined to do what you wanted to do. What would you be like as a teen I wondered?
You emerged in to your teen years as a young lady full of dreams and ambitions for the future. Gone was the petulant and pouty tween. In her place, I found a young woman who was able to have a discussion about an issue even if the outcome was not what you wanted.
You have always done well in school with prodding from us. This past year you have taken the helm with school projects. On a number of occasions you have reminded me of homework assignments!
I am excited about what the future holds for you!
When you were an infant, I recall that you would scream and fuss at bedtime. I geared up for a battle of wills at bedtime. I fed you and changed you and rocked you — all to no avail. One night it occurred to me to put you in your crib. I stood beside your crib amazed that you fell fast asleep. What?? You let me know in a nonverbal way that you needed an early bedtime. The early bedtime is just one of the gifts you have given this family.
Your sense of humor is a true joy to me. As a child I was a joker…ask Grandma and Grandad! You and I have fun reciting lines from The Simpson’s Movie and Shrek while your Dad, sister, and brother stand by bemused. I know, I know…I laugh at the lines far longer than you do.
As the younger sister to one and the older to another, you have much responsibility. Your older sister can be stand-offish with you or she can be your best buddy — what can I say she’s has an independent streak. Your little brother looks up to you, which I know is both charming and annoying. You handle both of your siblings with grace.
I am thrilled that you have found two sports that you love dearly. While I may not know what a librero does or what your time is in the breaststroke…I love cheering for you on the sidelines or poolside.
I will hang on for the ride to see where life takes you.
You are a bundle of joy wrapped up in a little boy package. You cuddle up for a bear hug or headbutt me — I never know which one I will get! You love your dad and would rather hang out with him. But, from the moment we brought you home from the hospital you have always been my little buddy.
As the only little boy in the family, you are relentless at trying to convert your sisters to the world of Cars and Thomas and Geotrax and Iron Man. You haven’t changed their minds yet, but you never stop trying.
I love that you adore school. From the moment I picked up a book to read to you, your eyes sparkled. Books hold your attention. You love being read to…when persuaded you will read to one of us. I love it when your preteen sister comes in to the room to listen to the Junie B. Jones books Daddy is reading to you. We are a book family!
I am excited to see where life will take you.
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