I have always enjoyed writing letters and cards because I’m more comfortable expressing my feelings in writing than I am articulating them. Letter writing has always given me the opportunity to focus on my thoughts and words more carefully and meaningfully without distraction. Unlike some conversations I’ve had, I’ve never written a letter that I wanted to take back. Sending a letter or a card is a perfectly permanent way to capture your thoughts and feelings.
Years ago, I started writing back-to-school letters to my children. At the time, I remember thinking that there were so many things I wanted to share with them about the upcoming school year, and I thought a letter would grab their attention more than a “mom talk”. Truth be told, I also knew that some of the things I wanted to say to them would be easier to communicate in writing than in conversation. With a letter there would be less of a chance that they would misunderstand some important piece of advice I was sharing. It would also provide them an opportunity to go back and read my words of wisdom and encouragement whenever they wanted or needed; whether that was 5 days or 50 years after first reading them. My hope is that those letters will last forever, unlike spoken words that can be so easily forgotten.
Writing letters to my kids is one of my favorite things to do, so I won’t be stopping anytime soon. I hope that they will re-read and smile at my crazy long letters, and realize that they are more than just words on paper. Those letters preserve my most cherished thoughts, feelings, and memories that might never have been shared, if I hadn’t written a letter.