Why my struggle to write was actually a GOOD thing!

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My kids’ memory folders (ah, how cute they were …)

For the past two years, I’ve been berating myself for not keeping up with a commitment I made to myself when each of my babies was born. I had diligently written letters to each child – a few during their first years of life, and one for each birthday that followed. I’d managed it well until the past couple of years but since then, each time I tried to write, the words wouldn’t come out. I couldn’t work out why.

The letter writing seemed important to me. I wanted to share the memories, special moments and funny little sayings, as well as the challenges we had faced. I had a few reasons for this.

  • To keep a record (of course), and because I like to write.
  • I thought it would be a lovely gift to give each of them on their eighteenth birthday – a record of their childhood.
  • From a practical sense, it could be handy to know some of the key development steps which, if I wasn’t there to tell them about, they might not know about (I had discovered this first hand as a result of a mother-in-law who was already in the early stages of dementia when I met her). Yes, as the practical pessimist, I wanted to ensure there was lots for them in the event that I wasn’t around (nothing like preventative planning!)

All good reasons – so why couldn’t I write the letters? (although I can ramble a bit, it’s not like they are massive documents, for heavens sakes). Today I realised why. There was another reason, bubbling behind in the background, which tinged the writing with a sense of sadness and panic. Which wasn’t pleasant – and therefore to be avoided. I was writing not only in case I might not be around – incapacitated or dead – but even more so, because I was worried about how I would be leaving them.

I didn’t fear AS MUCH the idea of being separated as much as I did the idea that they might not have the knowledge of how fully, how deeply, how completely they are loved. I feared that they would be so emotionally scarred without that deep knowledge that it would cause major long term irreversible impacts. This became clear to me when I read The Thud ‘s blog post about her own letter writing / video recording for her child.

When I was reading this post, I suddenly realised that I don’t have this fear this anymore. I KNOW that my children know that they are fully loved by both my husband and me. I see it in the way they respond and interact with us, in the way they come to us to share problems and tales of happiness. And I know, as they are getting older, that they are developing a more solid foundation every day.

I now understand why I no longer feel the panicked pressure to write, to reinforce, to ground them through my letters as I do that more in my day to day activities. And that is such a great thing to realise. Something that seemed a negative has been revealed to me as a really positive forward step, and I am rejoicing in that now!

My letter writing can now serve a different, more joyful purpose. I’m so happy I just had to write this post as a means of sharing my insight, which I hope somehow might be a great insight for others. And I can’t wait to start my catch up writing, which is already underway. Yay!

 

 

Linking up with Life Love and Hiccups and A Quirky Bird for the Weekend Rewind (check out a range of great posts from their sites too)!

 

 

Letting go of both guilt, plus fear – I cannot believe how liberating this feels!
Have you recently experienced the relief of a fear that no longer has any impact?

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10 thoughts on “Why my struggle to write was actually a GOOD thing!

    1. It was such a relief – but at the same time, they love the books. Nice to know I can keep adding to them without feeling the same degree of pressure!

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  1. Nice to find your blog Helen via the Weekend Rewind. We adopted our kids and I made this huge effort first time around with our daughter (now 12, OMG) to create a LIfe Story Book. With our son (now 5) we also did a Life Story book and I had plans to add to both a lot more than I have. I also did videos for their adoptions and a series of videos when my daughter was young with her ‘China cousins’ (fellow adoptees). I’ve slipped on both the books and the videos in recent years but I think we chronicle so many things daily through social media and blogging anyway. If you are busy making great memories with your kids then there is no reason to worry so much about recording everything.

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    1. That is true – plus I’m now using a lot of the social media updates as a base (why reinvent the wheel, hey?) Great idea to link in with her Chinese ‘cousins’ too – she will love the connection with her heritage! x

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  2. I also fell behind on the ‘memory’ books and it made me question the whole importance of record keeping. I don’t know – I just think that everything is so RECORDED these days, but to what end. An occasional trip down memory lane? I can’t help but feel that we record our lives in other, more important ways. That said, the new smash thing has been a revelation for me this year and I have always managed to throw a little something into a box of treasures for each kid, so… part of me must see the value in the records. x

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