Sorry, Mom. I didn't listen.

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Let’s learn something: Write to your child

In just about every baby book, there is a blank spot for a letter from mommy and daddy. Mommy and Daddy are supposed to write a letter to their child so their words of love and wisdom can be preserved throughout the ages.

Oddly, the letter section for my son’s book is blank. The reason that it is blank is because he has three journals full of letters from me.

I have written my son letters since the day I found out I was pregnant. At first they were filled with my hopes and dreams for him, my thoughts about getting to hold him for the first time and all the preparations we were making for his arrival. But, once he was born they became a detailed record of his life. I realized that I would have to be his memory for the first few years of his life – the time before he was able to retain memories of his own. And, as we all know, memory is a fleeting thing.

So, I write it all down: The big events, the small events, the funny things he says to me and even the mundane details. Because I want him to know what it was like when he was little (what it was really like, not just the “oh, you were an easy baby” comments you hear all the time).

Do you want to write your child, too? It’s easier than you think to get started:

  1. Get a notebook, journal or whatever you feel comfortable writing in. I would say that personal handwriting is best, so make sure to write in ink.
  2. Designate a day and time to write down everything that happened (could be daily or weekly – depends on what you have time for).
  3. Write like you are telling the story to a friend. Use your everyday words and just start simply with phrases such as: Today we went to… or You are so funny when you… or Nobody ever told me you would…
  4. Have fun with it! You don’t have to write all about your child – some days not much happens, but you can also mix in your own stories of what is going on with your life so your child understands that you are a person with your own thoughts and feelings, too.

Even when my son is old enough to retain his own memories, I’m not sure I’ll give up completely on writing him. Sometimes it’s hard to let go.

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