Monday, June 13, 2016

Writing her

I started doing something new with my eldest. I picked up a cheap notebook when I was at the grocery store. On the first page, I wrote:

"Dear Isla,
I bought you this special purple notebook and thought it might be fun to write notes back and forth to each other. You can ask me questions or tell me what you are thinking about. Leave it on my bedside table whenever you are ready for me to write back. Sound fun?
Love, Mom"

I left the notebook on my daughter's pillow and sealed my lips. A couple hours passed before she discovered it. She came bounding down the stairs, delighted to have something new (she LOVES gifts!) and curious at the same time. I was pretty sure she would react positively - she is my little writer after all - but beyond that, I wasn't sure where this little notebook would take us.

When I went to bed that night, I found the notebook waiting on my bedside table. In it, my daughter had penned the following:

"Dear Mom,

Most poetry is not rhyming poetry! I loved my baking club! I hope our strawberries grow. What is your favorite sport? What was your favorite subject in school? When will we run together again? Am I doing good on behavior? Do you like hopscotch? I do! Aylisa is coming to the next meeting for Fruit, Love and Cupcakes Baking Club.

I did this for HER but failed to anticipate just how much it would do for ME. Her curiosity toward me was astounding. And the way she continued some of our recent conversations in writing spoke measures. My relationship with my children often feels one-sided. I give and give and give and give. And then give and give some more. I am told this changes (like when our kids are 35 or something) but that reassurance doesn't necessarily make the exhaustive giving in the now any easier. But then at random, I get these little unexpected deposits back and it is in these moments that I recognize all the daily, hourly, moment-to-moment effort has been worthwhile.

And Lord knows how much us mamas need a little loving in return!

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posted by kelsie