Atop each of my children’s book shelves, sits a silver box, their names etched with the words “Letters from Mom.” Next to the writing, lies a picture of each baby in my arms, taken minutes after their births. The idea, is to write letters throughout the years for each milestone and holiday. Beautiful…in theory. But not so beautiful in terms of the pressure it puts on me to write these letters consistently, and make sure both have the same in number. Zachary’s box contains a handful of envelopes. Isabelle’s, one or two. I won’t sit here and berate myself for that fact alone. I know I’m in good company where that issue is concerned. Most women I have talked to have detailed, beautifully crafted scrap books of baby number one, while a plain manila folder containing some weights and measurements of baby number two, sits on a shelf or in a box. It’s just the way it often is.
But, Isabelle turned one this past weekend, and while in the midst of unpacking and adjusting to this enormous life change, I didn’t even purchase her gift myself. I thought if nothing else, I would have her letter for her. Well, the day came and went, and the letter went unwritten. Oddly enough, these are much more difficult for me to compose than the countless entries I write for this blog. They are just too precious to me. I want them to be perfectly sentimental words, painting a beautiful picture of how much each child means to me, and when I sit down to write, I am unable to do them justice.
But, today, as I rode the train back from my first appointment in the city, I took out my blackberry and wrote a rather imperfect letter from the heart to my baby girl. Maybe these letters don’t need to be treated as pieces of porcelain. A letter from Mom is special no matter how well it is written. And, clunky and awkward depictions of how much you are loved, is a much better gift than an empty, silver box.