Love Letters to my Son

Everyone always says to write down things your kids say or do, because you WILL forget. About a year ago, right in the middle of my second pregnancy (when my hormones were definitely flaring up!), I decided to start a journal to my 2 year old son.

I keep it simple. I have a journal, and I write my son letters. Sometimes they are just a few lines, and sometimes they are several pages. I talk about funny things he says (like when he told me “you’re the BIGGEST mama EVER!” when I was about 7 months pregnant) or fun things we do together (trips to the zoo or playdates with friends).

I talk about the bad days, too, like when we snuggled on the couch all day when he was sick or when he had a tantrum at Target because I wouldn’t buy him something he wanted. I talk about our adventures in potty training and how my heart broke when he broke his leg.

I talk about what an amazing big brother he is, and how much his baby sister loves him. I talk about how he melts my heart when he blows me kisses or tells me he loves me.

I don’t spend a ton of time on it. I do it when I remember, or when I have energy, or when I’m feeling extra nostalgic. Sometimes I write a few days in row, and sometimes I don’t write for weeks. If I forget, I cut myself slack. It’s not like a baby book, where there are stats you are supposed to write at certain times – it’s just meant to capture pieces of our lives that I will be able to savor long after he is grown and gone.

Someday I plan to share this journal with him. I don’t know if he’ll read it, or if he’ll appreciate it, but that’s not why I’m doing it. I’m doing it because I realize how fast time goes, and how hard it is to appreciate your kids in the moment sometimes. I realize that even the normal days, when the house is a mess and milk gets spilled or there are tears, will be fiercely missed someday. I WANT to remember everything, but I know I won’t. This is a way for me to freeze just a small chunk of our lives. Even now, and it’s only been a year, I read back the early letters to him and have already forgotten some of the stuff that happened. It makes me laugh and cry NOW, so I can’t even imagine how I will feel in 10 or 20 years when I read it.

When my baby girl turns 2, the same age Jackson was, I will start a journal for her, too. I may not be perfect at filling out their baby books, or taking pictures that aren’t on my iphone, or even planning perfect birthday parties…but at least I will have their journals, my love letters to my children, to remember how sweet (and so very short) this time is in our lives.

Betsy is a mom to two sassy, spunky and spirited kiddos and wife to an adventurous, soccer-loving Chemist named Noah. She is originally from the Chicago suburbs but has bounced around the world with her husband before landing (hopefully permanently!) in Madison. Her first child, Jackson, was born in Germany during their two years living abroad. Betsy loves exploring new cities, donuts (any kind, anywhere) and being a stay at home mom. She is currently in school with plans to become an Occupational Therapist.

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