Birthday Letters

Being in the technological era, the novelty of receiving a handwritten letter has slowly faded. Now we have the ability of sending a quick Hi from across the country via a text message, or for a longer message via email. Even with today’s smartphones email to text or text to email is prevalent.

I am guilty of it myself. I would rather send a text message than talk on the phone. I have sent emails to Boyfriend when he lived 6 hours away. In fact, I would send multiple emails in a day. I am even a big fan of MSN or FB chat. I am even ashamed to admit I have texted people in the same house as I; or even across the table.

But regardless of all this, I enjoy looking in the mailbox and seeing a package waiting for me. I love opening up an envelope and holding a piece of paper and reading the written word. And six years ago I started a new tradition, that my kids are unaware of.

I was a young mother. Younger than most, but older than some. I was 18 when I found out I was pregnant with my son. I was just finishing my general studies diploma and thinking about going on to do Child and Youth Care. Kid was born only 3 months after my 19th birthday. Though I was older emotionally and mentally than many my age I was still not prepared for the emotional roller coaster having a child would put me through. I had never known happiness until I held my son in my arms. I had never known love until he looked up at me with his baby blues.

So when I was 20, (and a college “dropout” and newly stay at home mom) Kid celebrated his first birthday. The first birthday I ever arranged and hosted. (now after 10 more birthday under my belt, I wish I could just hire an entertainer and call it good) After everyone had gone home for the day, the house was cleaned up and my son was put to bed I sat on the couch and was so overwhelmed with happiness, love and pride I wanted to cry. I needed to release all of these emotions somehow. And having a dormant writer hiding inside of me, I grabbed pen and paper and half an hour later I looked down and realized I had a four page letter for my toddler son in my hands.

It has been six years now, and I have no idea what is in that letter. I sealed it and tucked it away for safe keeping. Since then I have written my son 6 more letters, and my daughter has 5. Each year after their birthday parties. I sit and sift through all my emotions, all my love, and all my pride and try to immortalize it using the written word. I bought a fire safe box, solely to keep these letters in.

My goal is this:

For their 18th birthday we will sit down and relive their childhood through these letters.

But I am also a realist. After losing my OWN mother at the ripe age of 14, I know that life doesn’t always go the way you want it to, so if heaven forbid, I leave this earth unexpectedly, my children will have a collection of letters from their mom that they can cherish and reread over and over. If they have any questions from their childhood it can hopefully be answered in those letters.

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