So, The Husband and I have been writing emails to our daughters. We started shortly after the first one was born. We write to them when they are being super adorable…
…and when they are being absolutely ridiculous…
We write to them when they’ve hit a milestone or if we had a nice day out. I write to them when I’m frustrated about something or if there’s something I want them to know about.
A gift for their 21st
We plan on gifting the girls their emails when they each turn 21 and good luck to them when they receive 1000+ emails to read. I’ll suggest they get a few bottles of wine, line up a therapist and get cracking.
When The Husband suggested we start an email address for Number 1, I found this a fascinating concept and I’m so glad we’ve been doing it from day one for each of them. Here are a few things I always keep in mind when I write to my girls:
What do I talk about
I emailed Number 1 a lot about how she sleeps. She slept with us in bed and so at any given time, I had a foot on my head or in my back. She used to love to snuggle faces, so there are nights I’d sleep with her cheek pressed against mine. Adorable as that sounds, it’s also mighty uncomfortable. Good thing love (and coffee) keeps the world spinning…
Thinking back on the things I wrote to my first daughter, I wonder what I’ll write to the second one. Do I share the same information? I wrote to my first daughter about my tumultuous relationship with my father, because after being estranged for 8 years, we got back in touch when she was born. But that’s in the past and why write to my second daughter about that? Just bringing up stuff she doesn’t need in her pretty, little head. But will she feel like she’s missing out? Time will tell.
What’s current to us is current to them IN 20 YEARS!!
Whilst I’m writing the emails now, they are reading them in their time. So what’s current to me today will also be current to my daughters – but in 20 years! This is the sort of thing that trips me out, time and space are a fascinating subject. Does that mean that time doesn’t really exist in the sense we understand? Mind. Blown.
How much do I share with my 21 year old daughter?
Do I tell her about a fight I had with her dad? About the complicated relationships I have with my own parents? What would I have wanted to know about my mother when I was a 21 year old woman? What would you have?
I know this is a morbid one, but will I still be around when they are 21?
This is kind a big one I always think about. If something happens to me, what would I want my daughters to know? How will they feel reading what I have to say, if I’m not there anymore to provide the context or elaborate on the things I’ve written? Or if they have questions about any of it? I just hope that The Husband does me proud and tells them about my phenomenal career as a rescue helicopter pilot….
What happens in the next 20 years?
What kind of relationship have I built with my daughters? What will happen in the next 20 years and how will they feel about reading my emails? Did my husband and I continue to grow together or have we grown apart? When I write to them, I often write about my husband as well because I want them to know how much love is in our lives. My family is everything to me and we love each other deeply. I want them to know that.
I like to send photos of what’s happening right now for me and them. Sometimes, all I do is send photos with a caption. I always like to remind myself that it doesn’t have to be long winded, that way I don’t put off writing to them because I feel like I don’t have the time for a proper email.
The gift of words
When the time comes, and we gift this to the girls, I hope they gets a glimpse into their lives growing up. And gets a glimpse of our experience as their parents. I often wonder about my own mother, what was her experience like in Bosnia and Serbia during the war, trying to raise a family in such turmoil? I would give anything to have letter from her during that time.
Meanwhile, if Gmail crashes, we’re fucked.
I’d love to hear from you if you have any interesting things you’re planning for your kid, lemme know!!