Today's story comes from Jill from Jill Sloffer Photography.
In my journal I write letters to my kids. The idea came to me from a conversation with my sister-in-law who, while in her early twenties, lost her mom, the mother-in-law I never met, to cancer. Belinda, that was her name, had a brain tumor for 2 years and during that time she journaled and wrote letters to her children and others. Molly, my sister-in-law, shared how much she treasures those words from her mom and Molly's love for these letters inspired me. My own mom has a letter from her father that he wrote before his death when she was only 10. What a gift to have a letter from your mom or dad telling you how much you are loved.
I've written off an on in diaries and prayer journals all my life. Now that I am a mom of 4 young kids who spends most of each day chasing them around, I've got more than ever to write about. Knowing that the things I write may one day--hopefully many, many years from now--be treasures to my children motivates me to write more. Here are some other reasons I am writing letters to my children in my journals.
- I don't have to do it regularly, just when something funny happens or on a significant day, like my son's first day of Kindergarten. I am not a very disciplined person, and I get discouraged when I vow to do something and then I don't keep up with it. Then I just scrap the whole idea. But these are my letters so I can write whenever feel like it. Because I'm the Mom, that's why!
- My kids will have my perspective of their growing-up years-- my frazzledness, my worries, my prayers for them, how I see them and love them during this time. Maybe they'll have more sympathy for me when I'm older. Maybe they'll upgrade me to a private room in the nursing home.
- I'm big on handwriting. Of course I love to email & update my Facebook status with funny stories about my kids, but I'm glad that I'm writing some of them down too. There is just something wonderful about seeing a loved one's penmanship. My mom has beautiful handwriting and I would know it anywhere. Molly says that being able to see her mom's handwriting is one of her favorite things about Belinda's journals and letters. I am hopeful that my kids will feel the same way.
- It is like a thankfulness journal-- writing about my kids and to my kids allows me to focus on what I love about them and what makes them unique. It helps me to appreciate them even more than I already do and reminds me of what an honor and a blessing it is to be their mom.
- It gives me perspective. As Ferris Bueller said "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it." This time in my family's life is moving way too fast! Keeping track of some of the big things and lots of the little things helps me not to focus on the fact that I never get to go to bathroom without a visitor or two.
Even if I write these letters once a month, or twice a year, or even once a year, I hope my kids will enjoy reading them and getting to see their childhood through my sleepy, but loving, eyes.
Check out the other entries in the On Journaling series.
Starting January 1st, we'll be journaling through January! Join me every day for a new journal prompt each morning!