Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Letters To My Children

For the last several years, I've been writing letters to my children. That seems kind of odd considering that I see my children fairly regularly and talk to them quite a bit. There's soooooo much more that I want to share with them though. More stuff than how OSU messed up their last football/basketball game ... more than how Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory reminds us of someone we know, but we never can figure out who ... more than how the dogs we own have taken over our lives. We do a lot of surface talking. Don't get me wrong! I'll take it! In fact, any time I can get any of my children to talk, I'll sit and listen for hours! But it seems that I don't get the "quality" time to really sit and visit with them, to find out what's going on in their lives, to delve in to feelings (which is pretty much downright torture for my sons to have to do anyway), and to share all of the wisdom that I have bottled up inside of me. (Yes, that was meant as a joke. My children will tell you that I never hesitate to share my "wisdom".)

So, because I really and seriously don't get that opportunity, I write letters to my children. Sometimes I write letters daily. Sometimes months might go by before I write to them. Most of the letters are fairly short, although a few ramble on for what will seem like forever. Unfortunately, my letters to my children are kind of like my blog posts -- erratic and who knows what they'll be like?!? But the heart and intent are there.

Topics in the letters might be: what God is teaching me, areas in my child's life where he's struggled but I've seen growth, gifts and talents of our children, praying for them, difficulties and struggles they're currently going through and seeing God's fingerprints in the midst of them, how much I love them and all of the reasons why I do, and so on. Many times I sit and laugh as I write because I'm so dang funny and my children will be reading these letters after I'm dead and gone. Maybe they'll appreciate my humor and wisdom then? I kinda doubt it, but a mom can dream, right? But even more often, I cry as I write. Why? Because there has really been no other area in my life like being a mom. It was my greatest challenge, the area where I felt my biggest defeats, my hardest struggles ... but at the same time, it was my biggest blessing, the largest arena of learning, and I'd love to still be in the midst of it.

I remember days wondering if my child would ever "get it". Will he ever learn to pick up his clothes and put them in the clothes hamper? Will she remember to look both ways before crossing the street? Will they hear God's voice telling them which path to choose? Will they look back on their childhood days fondly and want to repeat the same things with their own children? Will they remember a mom who had time for them, who listened to them, who loved them with a crazy and pursuing love? Or will they remember the mom who was impatient, demanding, and insecure in her own skin?

Even though my children have moved out of my home and have started families or homes of their own -- even though my children have jobs and are independent of me, God's showed me that my days as a mom are never over. Though I'm not tucking them in anymore, or listening for their car to drive in the driveway at curfew, or rocking them to sleep, I'm still praying over them, loving them, and writing them letters that are full of my heart. I expect them to read them after my funeral. Of course, I have several children who don't like to read, so it would be nice if someone would read the letters to them. 

And I'm grateful to their father -- the man who made all this possible. He was the one who encouraged me to stay home when our first child was born. I'll never forget when he told me that if we needed to eat beans every day for the rest of our lives, if that was the only way we could afford for me to stay home, then we'd do it. He was the one who told me he was 100% confident that I could homeschool our children and they wouldn't turn out to be social misfits or total idiots. He was the one who taught me that we need to pick our battles with our children. Having a spotless room did not qualify as a battle worth "dying on a hill" for. He taught me to relax, to laugh, to chill, to be less critical, and to be more patient (I didn't say that I mastered those lessons, but he definitely was a great teacher).

My job isn't done. I still pray over my children. I still tell them of my love. I still teach them. But this go-around, it's in letters ...

1 comment:

  1. love this post! you've inspired me to write letters to my children!