On the day I saw two pink lines on the pregnancy test, I began writing to my boys.
Each of our children has their own notebook. Once one is filled, the next begins.
Their notebooks look like scrapbooks with ultrasound photos, first paintings, tracings of hands…
I write to them every few weeks – leaving the house for a few hours to write in a coffee shop. I’m so grateful to my husband for this time.
As parents, there are so many great moments we have with our kids. We say we’ll never forget them, and then we do. I forget week to week. It’s not that we don’t care, it’s just that so much happens every day and soon there are more stories we say we’ll never forget. For me, writing is one way to capture these memories so they’re not forgotten.
There are lots of different ways we can do this. I have friends who take amazing candids, some who use social media, others who prefer video… We all have our own ways.
For me, I choose old school writing in a notebook. My main reason is that when my boys are grown and I’m no longer around, I like to think that their notebooks are a way to still be with them. Yes, I know it may sound a bit morbid, but that’s okay.
I like to think that my boys will flip through their notebooks and laugh about the funny things they did as kids. They’ll see my handwriting on the page and hear my voice. They’ll read about the fun we had, the silly memories, our time together as a family, and they will be reminded of how much I love them.
I hope they’ll hear me. Mom.
I don’t filter what I write. I did at first. I wanted to write with proper sentence structure and to model good use of vocabulary and grammar (the previous teacher in me). I scrapped that. Now I write like I talk or think. I write as it lands on the page. I want it to be me writing directly to my kids; not a recount of events that feel distant or impersonal. I want it to be me.
When I was carrying the boys in pregnancy, I would share information about their development. I would tell them about how long they were – crown to rump. I would draw out their lengths so they could see how substantial the growth was week to week and how excited I was to have them. I was clueless about how babies developed until I was pregnant. I think it’s neat that they’ll learn about it before I did. Boys should know about pregnancy and how babies develop too.
I like to share what we like to do together as a family. The excitement of seeing them begin to crawl. Hearing them try to sing a song for the first time. Their first words. The fact that our oldest could say cat and car before mom and dad…what a kid. I also have my sentimental moments where I say out loud, I never want to forget this.
I’m not sure how long I’ll be able to keep up with the writing. My hope is that I will write to them until they’re teenagers. I’ve got a way to go! But I know how special it is to me that I have all of my grandma’s letters and I can take them out to still hear her voice. For that reason alone, I know I’ll stick with it.
And now we have a third notebook that has since joined our collection! The excitement still feels the same. I enjoy sharing information about her development and including recent ultrasound photos. It doesn’t feel monotonous. It feels like I get to write to someone new and to give her something to have for life.
Writing is a gift.