There are things that I encounter now as a young wife and mom to three kids that I want my daughters to know. Concepts that I want to teach my son about navigating through this world that is ever changing. Like learning to take on a challenge. There are values, morals, and lessons in this life that I want to be sure my adult child has an understanding of. There are things I want to tell them when they go off to college, get their first job, get married or have their first child. But the truth is I may not get the chance. Life is so busy sometimes and chances are, many of these life lessons or memories may get pushed aside and never shared.
A perfect example is that I want my kids one day to not just see me as mom but as my own person. I want this because I feel there is a lot to glean from knowing me as a parent and an individual. One thing I learned from my parents was to have a caring heart for the people around me whatever that might look like at any given time.
When I was a teenager, my parents always had an open door at our home for my friends. The more, the merrier was their motto. My mom would cook giant pots of chili. My dad would turn on the lights in the driveway for the boys to play basketball. Kids would be there for hours almost every Friday night. I can remember on more than one occasion seeing one or both of my parents sitting at the table talking with my friends. As a child I saw those conversations as just mom and dad being nosy or keeping an eye out for who my friends were and what we were up to.
As an adult I see that those moments weren’t all about me but were about my parents caring for the people that were in their reach at the time. In those moments they weren’t necessarily being my parents but were individuals who had a heart for young people. Now, many years later, as my kids are beginning school and my circle of reach is changing, I see some of my memories of my parents a little differently.
In an attempt to capture these moments and life lessons I have found an idea worth sharing with you.
Writing to my Adult Children Now
I have created an email account for each of my children that they will not have access to until a predetermined date. Maybe it is their wedding day, they day they leave for college, or a special birthday. Whenever it is, I will give them the email and password to an account hopefully filled with hundreds of emails. Only certain people will have this email address. My husband and I, grandparents, great grandparents, and their aunts and uncles. When there is a specific memory to share, life lesson, or a simple I love you is due? I can send them an email. This means that I can share in written form how I’m feeling at that exact moment. It might look something like this:
“Tonight, you are wild! You are 4 years old and we are spending the evening home just the five of us. You and your brother and sister have been playing outside in the mud. It turned into a HUGE mud fight with your day. I have been hiding on the porch so I can hear the laughter but avoid being caught in the cross fire. This truly is my happy place. Watching you run and seeing the smile on your face brings me such joy. I love these moments with you, my boy. Wherever you are, know that I have always adored you and I always will. Love, Momma.”
Imagine 15 to 30 years of emails filled with advice, love, and memories. Imagine being in a difficult place in your life needing encouragement. How would it feel to able to open an email account and find just that? How special, right? So get that account set up and start writing. One day your kids will be able to get a special glimpse into who their parents are. At the same time you will have the opportunity to make sure those special conversations don’t get left behind.