Monday, August 9, 2010

To be read in 2027.


Dear Leigh,
This letter is being written by your 35 year old self. By my calculations when you read this you will be 53 years old. If all goes as you hope it does, Griffin should be about to graduate college and Koen should be packing up to leave for college right about now. I just wanted to tell you how proud I am that you made it this far and that the boys are happy and healthy and ready to go into the world and take it on. You did good, mama.

Listen, I really hope that you took the time over the years to take care of yourself. I mean, I know that being a mom is what you seem to do the best but I hope that you fostered your writing as well. I hope that you kept a part of yourself over the years for this moment, the moment that the boys are leaving. Please, do us both a favor and don't freak out because they are leaving.

Get excited about your new life. Travel, paint, read, write, and please spend some much needed time with your husband.

Today, as I type this, Griffin is 5 years old and about to start his third year at Montessori school. He'll be staying everyday until 2:30 pm. This is a big deal around here. I'm going to miss him so much. I guess that I am feeling just a touch of what you are feeling now. It's so hard to let him go with grace. I can feel the shift, he is growing by leaps and bounds. Koen is 16 months and is about to give up nursing. I think that he is just humoring me at this point. We are down to two nursings and they are so short that they really shouldn't count. So, both of the boys are needing me a bit less. I just had a good cry about it.

I am starting the hard work now. I am working on letting them go slowly so that when you are saying goodbye to Koen as he leaves for college and both of the boys are officially out of the house, that you will have a safe space saved just for you. I am creating that place in your heart today and I promise to protect it. A place that is full of love and memories of when the boys were so very young. I promise to do this for you, to take care of you now and over the years as each milestone passes by. So that when the time comes, you will feel strong. I promise to cry if I need to cry so that the tears don't sneak up on you. I promise to be good to me so that you will be nurtured. I will love my children unguarded and whole heartedly but I will love myself freely too. I will take the time to make sure that there will still be joy available to you when this job of being someone's Mom has run it's course.

I love you,

P.S. Sorry that I didn't moisturize my face better in my younger days!


R Montalban said...

You look so beautiful in that photograph and what a lovely thing to do. Hope everything works out for you and your family, just as you hope it should and yes, enjoy the time you have just now as they do go by quickly....

Unknown said...

Just stumbled upon your blog this morning & what good timing. My toddler is about to start pre-school & my baby is about to turn one - which I'm in total denial about.

What a great topic...I may have to borrow the idea some day.

Tracie said...

Ahh. I think you will love reading this someday. They grow up so quickly.

Susan Anderson said...

Awww. This is a cute AND touching post. "Cute" was the part about the moisturizing. "Touching" was everything else.

And you are in for such a ride...!


Unknown said...

this was exceptional and made me cry...beautiful photo of you, too. i love it, leigh!
you are a wonderful mom and your boys are so lucky!

dot said...

I like this a lot. Good luck with the kids.

Katherine said...

What a powerful, amazing, tear-jerking post. We do so focus on being the person everyone else needs that we forget about ourselves. What a wonderful promise, to nurture a part of you for when our children are grown.

Joy said...

very cool. i think i'm gonna have to copy you and write a letter to my older self, too.

Val said...

Oh what a beautiful letter!!
Like you I am a mom with all my heart, and how many times have I had this thought in mind: the hardest thing is not the 'hard work', the hardest thing is to let them go... And the wisest thing is probably what you've done: sparing a little personal, more selfish little place for being able to grow into an older, more independent mom who has done her best and followed the right way. A mom who can be proud of what she has achieved, and who has learnt how to let go gracefully. A mom who knows her kids need to fly with their own wings, because they are the most beautiful birds ever, aren't they?

Caroline said...

Well said, Leigh. I am always amazed at how fast time seems to go by with children. Before we know it, they will be leaving our little nest. I have a feeling when that happens in your home, you'll come across this letter to yourself and it will be even more meaningful and beautiful.


The Only Girl said...

I love this idea Leigh!