Wednesday, November 28, 2007

LOVE LETTERS

Mother of Invention commented on Love Letter to My Daughter Who Is Far Away at Christmas (below) that I probably wrote love letters to all my children. She was right. At some point in their lives, I have. Here is the one I wrote to my younger son at Christmastime seven years ago when his first child and my first grandchild was a newborn.








Dear Ken,

This is the first Christmas you will celebrate with your new daughter. And as it is my first Christmas as a grandmother, a Memeré, I wanted to give you both something from my heart.

When you were just a small boy you had a book called "Let Papa Sleep." No sooner would Papa Bunny lie down for a nap than Baby Bunny would beg for a pickle, a story, a drink of water, a game. You will discover as you spend the rest of your life being a father that there are things you will trade—naps for playtime, hot meals for emergencies, time alone for time spent with your children, business meetings for school plays, peaceful nights for nights of worry, toys you want for toys they want. There are some things I've learned as a parent that I would like to share. I offer here, as a gift to you, these things I've come to know from being your mother.

CHILDREN TEACH US ABOUT UNCONDITIONAL LOVE - Love without obligation, without judgment, without end—that is the kind of love children offer until they are taught differently by the world. Recognize it, revel in it, know that it will change but that it will never completely vanish. It will be the bedrock upon which you will build your relationship with your children, the look in their newborn eyes that says you are the most wonderful person in the world.

CHILDREN OFFER US A FRESH LOOK AT THE WORLD AND RENEW OUR DELIGHT IN SMALL THINGS - We develop blinders as we grow older. We say it is because we must be responsible adults or because we are too busy or that we have learned differently through our own experience. Children open our eyes to the possibilities inherent in life. They teach us about choices, about delight in the ordinary, making it extraordinary for us once again. They remind us to laugh with abandon, to play as though anything is possible, to weep as though the world was coming to an end then be elated to find that it didn’t.

CHILDREN GIVE US A SENSE OF SELF - We are defined by a number of things—by our families, our work, our communities, our heritage, our genetic make-up, our thoughts about ourselves, our reactions to the thoughts of others. Children hold up mirrors. We see ourselves reflected in their eyes, in their behavior, in their development. Your actions will speak louder than any words you ever say to your children. If you see yourself through the eyes of your child, you recognize the best aspects of yourself. Likewise, you will be made aware of those things that need changing.

CHILDREN TEACH US HOW TO LET GO - Nothing is harder, or more rewarding, than sending your child out into the world. You hurt with every hurt they endure, you glow with every triumph, you laugh and cry with a depth of feeling that will enrich you immeasurably if you let it. And when the time comes to let go, you realize that the bond you share does not disappear with their absence from your daily life. What a wonderful feeling it is to finally understand that, no matter how far they roam or how seldom you see them, there is no distance between you at all.

CHILDREN ENLARGE OUR BOUNDARIES - They will go places we have not gone, do things we have not done, and experience a life at once so familiar and yet so foreign to us that our eyes will open in wonder. If we give our children the same freedoms we would want for ourselves, the world becomes a boundless place filled with potential—theirs and ours.

CHILDREN ARE BOTH AN ANCHOR AND A SAIL - Every seaworthy craft has both. You may find times when you feel weighed down by the responsibility of being a parent, overwhelmed with the challenges that come with raising children, anchored to home and a way of life that can seem becalmed and stifling. But those same children will also be the sails on your life craft. They will catch the winds of hope, of new experience, of enchantment, and you will want to be sailing along behind, just in case they need you.

I can’t think of anything more wonderful than being a parent. You are one of the best gifts I ever received. May your children be the same for you. Merry Christmas, Ken!

Love,
Mom

17 comments:

AnnieElf said...

What a treasure to send to your son and your first grandbaby. I pray for years of health so that one day, the child too can pass this wisdom on to their own child.

Mother of Invention said...

That is as wonderful as your letter to your daughter and just as I thought...it must have made him cry and was probably the best present he received from you.
You are a gem of a mother to be sure.

Ruth D~ said...

Special family memories. I hope they get saved and handed down through the years to the newest generation.

red dirt scribbler said...

your spirit IS full to the brim and overflowing ..... your words: so gentle, tender, full of wisdom and love. just love ...

i am so pleased to know such an embracing spirit as you, pauline ...

xxx
red

meggie said...

What a lovely letter! How true, & how loving.
I have written to my daughter. She has kept my letters.
I am not sure about my sons keeping my letters, but I have written.

paisley said...

since i had already read and commented on your read write poem entry,, i read this instead.. do you think you could print this up and have new parents read and memorize it... i think it is a very perfect letter of what a parent should be... but ore often than not,, is not... thank you for sharing this intimate piece of your life.....

Rob Kistner said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rob Kistner said...

This was an excellent piece. I really enjoyed it!

Jo said...

Lovely, lovely, lovely.

tumblewords said...

How lucky to be able to write and to receive such a lovely message!

Dave said...

What a wonderful and lovely message that were so kind to share with all of us. These words were in your spirit and they are words that were inspired by love. The green energy of love and the heart shone through as I read, and re-read them. What a lucky man to have such a loving mom. Bless both of you

riseoutofme said...

Pauline, I have no words.

You do know I am available for adoption?

Pauline said...

Thank you all for your kind comments - yes the letters were wept over and saved and I hope savored. The best thing I ever did was to become a mother. My children are blessings, each and every one. There are two more letters out there and eventually I will publish those as well.

rise? when do we sign the papers?

Lillie said...

Exactly. You are so good at taking the thoughts out of my brain and putting them into words before I can ever articulate them. But then, I think you do this for most people, and that is why we come back again and again.

Pauline said...

lillie - such a compliment! You are the articulate one!

Barbara said...

I hope your children will carry on this wonderful tradition you have started! Such good advice for any new parent.

Java said...

This is yet again just so so beautiful and so true. I loved those words, it rings true and I can see my mistakes in your letter. When I hate it that my children act impatient I realise I do the same and they learn it from me.
Thank you for sharing this special letter with us so we can learn and grow by just reading it.