When I brought home our first child, I would sit for hours admiring him and examining each of his features. Did he look more like me or my husband? Would he be an athlete, artist, or engineer? How would we see his personality develop as the years went by and he hit milestones in growth and development? I couldn’t wait to see who this little person would become.
At that time, I thought it would be impossible to forget the very date and minute he first rolled over, sat up, and took his first steps. However, I learned quite quickly that, as exciting as each moment was, the details would not be forever etched in my memory. Time and life went on. And little did I know how true that would be as we eventually added four more littles to the mix!
Thankfully, I decided about six months into new-motherhood to help my Swiss-cheese memory out a bit by starting a journal for my son. I remembered how my mother-in-law had done the same thing for my husband and what a special gift that is today! As mothers, we think we could never forget special moments, but honestly we do. Life happens and time begins to blur those monumental firsts . . . Was that with our second or third? Did that first tooth come in the summer or spring? Was she eight months or ten months when she slept through the night (though I probably remember this milestone the most clearly!)?
It's nothing fancy, to be sure, just a red and black notebook with his name on the front. And as we have added children, each one has gotten their own notebook with letters from me. I include things like important developmental milestones, of course, but also funny things they have said, favorite toys or books they’ve had, interesting places they’ve been, and general observations about their personalities. We have had some fun conversations with our older ones as we read aloud some of the funny entries from toddlerhood, when children really do say the most amazing and outlandish things.
As they have gotten older, we have also been able to share with them ways in which God has been at work in their lives, and it’s my hope that one day they will read these little books and be encouraged. It’s very powerful for children to hear positive words about their character and to preserve those moments where they showed special kindness or learned an important life lesson.
Our family has had many major transitions. In the busyness of life, I don’t want to forget key moments in the lives of each child. Writing them down is essential. I would love to have the time to write each child a letter every week, but as they have gotten older and the major milestones change, I think that once a month is a more reasonable goal.
It doesn’t matter if your child is 1-week-old or going on 16, it’s never too late to begin writing letters that will bless them for years to come. So if you haven’t already started, today is the perfect day to begin. And lest you think I have followed my own advice perfectly, know that I have literally gone months without writing anything because some seasons have been so hectic. Though I would have preferred to be consistent in my journaling, none-the-less, I remind myself that any words I share with my kids will be cherished even if they come at irregular intervals.
Here’s how you can start:
Writing letters to your kids is an easy and powerful way you can bless the lives of your children. Giving them a piece of their history, penned by your hand, will be a priceless treasure.