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letters to my kids

letters to my kids, Parenting

The Way You Were Created

This post was originally published on my former blog, which is now private.  A friend referenced it to me this morning and I decided to publish it here.  It is a beautiful reminder, to me this day, about the “things about my kids” which remain true.

My little Tricia (“T” on my former blog) is 11 years old now and still a deep feeler.  She asks the tough questions, feels ALL of the feels, and remains attached to objects with meaning to her.  While she has matured with age and we have worked through some of the less healthy expressions of her deep sensitivity, she is still the same beautiful soul and I am so thankful for it.

Here is a letter to her, originally published in 2012:

Dear T (age 7),

I have not met anyone who feels things as deeply as you.  Your sorrow, your joy, your love, and your fears run DEEP.   And we see it in so many ways in your life.

The one that comes to mind daily is the way you struggle with goodbyes.  You still chase us down the moment you think it might be time for us to leave and begin…

When are you leaving?  When will you be back?  What time will I see you?  How many hours is that?

Bye.  Love you.  Miss you.  Mom.  Bye.  Love you.  Miss you.  Mom.  Look.  Bye.  Love you.  Miss you.

With hug upon hug.

And admittedly, it drives us all batty.  You interrupt conversations to begin your dialogue.  It is hard for Daddy and I to catch up on things that need to be addressed before one of us is leaving.

I find myself saying, “That is enough T.  You said Goodbye.  Now you have to let me talk to Daddy.  Go back in the house!”

I mean, enough is enough!  Often, I am only going up the street for a quick errand at the store.

The goodbye production drives my logical, left-brained, fact-driven adult mind crazy.

I am leaving.  I will be back in less than 10 minutes.  It is not a big deal!

But it is the same big deal to you every time.  Three days or 10 minutes doesn’t seem to matter.  They both represent good-byes.

And it isn’t just with people…

You have a hard time giving away pictures and cards you create for people.  You invest so much of yourself in the pictures that you don’t want to part with them.  You always ask me, “Do you think they’ll keep this?”  It pains you to think someone might throw it away.

In an effort to help you part with your pictures and cards, we began taking pictures of them so that you could always see them again if you wanted to.   Interestingly enough, the picture taking seems to be enough and you have never asked to see the pictures again.

Here is your card for Mrs. Tandi, your bible school teacher.

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I used to think that all of this drama had to be a game, some annoying habit you developed.  I used to think I could some how convince you to stop…

I am only going up the street.  I’ll be right back.  I already said goodbye.

But for you, it isn’t a game and it isn’t going anywhere.  You feel things more deeply than many folks.  It might be part fear, part love, and part anxiety.  Whatever it is, you don’t “control” it well and it just spills out.

That’s the hard part.  The spilling out of these uncontrollable desires to have your very deep feelings addressed don’t seem logical to me.

In fact, this past weekend I was going away for two nights.  You drew me a picture so that I would “remember you” and you asked me to draw one for you.  I forgot while I was packing the night before, but you didn’t.  The next day you reminded me over and over until I grabbed a post-it note and a sharpie marker about 10 minutes before I had to leave.  I made two quick stick figures and labeled them “Mom” and “T”.  Then I wrote, “I love you T” and handed it to you.

Admittedly, I was more frustrated than anything else.  I just wanted to get the final stuff done and I had a 7 year old begging for a picture so she could “remember me”.   AHHHH!

At some point on the trip I felt bad about how I neglected your feelings.  I told my friend she had to drive safely because this could NOT be the last picture you were left with from your mother!  Thankfully, I made it  home in one piece!

That night when I was tucking you in bed, I saw that lame post-it note in your bed.  You showed me how you kept it so you could remember me at night.

*sigh

You are unique and so different from your “less emotional” Mommy.

And I am learning.

In fact, on my weekend trip, one of the speakers said that the “characteristics of my children right now are the seeds of who they will become”.  Right now these behaviors are “too big” for you and you handle them as a 7 year old, spilling them forth with little self-control.  But you will “grow into them” and begin to handle them with more maturity as you develop into the person that He has planned.

One day I am going to be amazed at the beauty and strength of these feelings that run so deep.  Right now I am seeing the 7 year old child, awkward version of it.  But God has given this to you and I can trust He has a plan.

And He has a plan for me, as your mother, to cherish and nurture every aspect of your personality.  You’ll just have to be patient with me as we learn from one another.

Bye.  Love you.  Miss you.

(Don’t worry, I am just headed to bed)

letters to my kids, Parenting

Happy Birthday David

Dear David,

Right now you are sleeping down the hall.  This is the last night you will go to sleep as an eight year old.  When you wake up, you will celebrate your birthday and we will declare you NINE years old!

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You have spent months talking about the later bedtime that you think a nine year old should have.  I think you suspected it might include playing Minecraft until 10 PM, so our suggestion of keeping your light on till 9 PM wasn’t exactly what you pictured.  But most important to you seemed to be staying up later than your “six-year old brother”, so we will be sure to accommodate that request.  It’s hard when you share a room, but I think it is more than reasonable.  You ARE older than he and it is time to differentiate the lights out times.

You continue to delight my world with your goofy jokes, constant chatter, and unbelievable knowledge of all things.  We bought you joke books for Christmas because you love to laugh and you love to make us laugh.  Whenever I crack a good pun, I know YOU will get it and I love you so much for that!  You are happy to make conversation with anyone and you always have plenty to add to the discussion.  As an avid reader, you have knowledge about so many things that you continually surprise me with facts and information.  Of course, your knowledge of the history of the clone wars even took your father by surprise when you educated him about the evolutions of clones into stormtroopers or droids or something about that…

When anyone asks you a question, you still refuse to give a “yes or no” answer.  This is something about you that both fascinates me and drives me insane.  Sometimes I just need a YES or NO but you never have one.  ever.  not ever.  It’s become somewhat of a family joke, but it has also landed you in your room when a frustrated parent loses it.  I am not sure if it is your analytical mind or a stubborn streak at this point, but in the end, it is a well known fact about you.

IMG_9654Right now you love all things Pokemon.  Pokemon cards, shows, and stuffed toys fill our house and lives.  Star Wars holds your interest as well.  It was such fun to take you to the newly released movie this year and watch your reaction.  When you are with your brother and neighborhood friends, you all love to play guns and swords.  You are always battling some unseen enemy outside and I love to watch you all run around.  We own a plethora of nerf guns, nerf swords and other random weaponry.  Of course, the Wii U and Minecraft rank up there as your favorite free time activities too.

You are an eager student in school.  It helps that you love to read as a free time activity.  You are content to read right in the midst of chaos, a definite trait of your mothers!  Right now you are SO EXCITED about history because we are learning about the Revolutionary War. You love it.  It’s a true joy to have you in class and I am so thankful you are home with me so that you can process all of your thoughts about our various topics out loud with us.  I know that is hard for you in classroom settings.  This is another way that you are like your mom; you want the freedom to talk when you process your thoughts and ideas.

I love you to death my son.  I look forward to our special breakfast tomorrow because 2016 is my year to have breakfast with the birthday kid.

I promise not to ask you any yes or no questions…