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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Love letters


I know they don't look like love letters, but they are.  

An interesting thing has happened over the last 6-9 months.  As Tess and Jude have learned to read and write, we've encouraged them to express their feelings in writing.  These are the letters Tess wrote to me yesterday.  First she presented me with the orange one.  She was mad.  Mad as a wet hen!  Truth be told, this happens pretty often, and I don't even remember why she was mad on this occasion.  But she was.  And she stomped over and threw this paper at me handed me the orange note.  
I hAT mIY SEF
I stopped making dinner, (Why does this kind of thing always happen right in the middle of the busiest time of day?  Before Papa gets home?  Before the reinforcements arrive?  Right before dinner when there are tables to be set and and salads to make?) and we talked.  About feelings.  And her conscience.  And how it's okay to feel mad or sad or angry but it's not okay to hurt people.  And it's so good to use words and talk about it.  
And it seemed to work.  It rarely doesn't always happen that way.  Her sweet little spirits lifted, and she decided to color. 

After dinner when they were all tucked into bed, I scurried around to tidy up the mess from the daily tornado.  I found the orange paper ripped down the middle and on the floor.  And on the counter next to the crayons was her new note on the white paper.  
I LUV mi sev.    

At this very moment there are hieroglyphics of run-on letters written in sidewalk chalk across our driveway.  She's in kindergarten so without an interpreter, it's hard to figure out.
So how does my daughter express her love?  Maybe flowers or gushy songs would have been nice.  And don't get me wrong.  I get my fair share of hugs and kisses and You're the most bootiful mama in the whole world.  
But she has another special way too.  You see these really are love letters.  
She's learning to trust.  She's testing us.  She comes to us.  And shares herself and shares all those awful yucky feelings.  We are her safe place where she can bare herself and know that no matter how ugly it gets, we are there.  
For her.
Always.  

And to get honest deep love letters like these from my 6 year old, is my little ordinary miracle indeed.  

In case you couldn't figure it out, let me add some spaces and turn that B around.  And you need to read it phonetically.
E RE BUDe HaTs me SToPiD
Everybody hates me, stupid.

Yes, that would be me that she is calling stupid.  
And I'm taking it as another little expression of her love.  

6 comments:

  1. love it. you KNOW i love it. i wish our kids were playing together tomorrow. at your house, not mine. it's too cold here.

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  2. Makes me sad, but at the same time I have a child who I wish would tell us what is heavy on his heart. He keeps it all in!

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    1. Kelleyn, it is sad that she's upset but the fact that she's "testing" us is good progress. Everytime she does it is an opportunity for us to reinforce that yes were're sticking by her no matter what. There isn't a thing in the world that she could say or do that would have us leave her side.

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  3. Hugs to Tess, and Hugs to you. What a story she is telling as she learns to write. Words have great power, and written words, wow..

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  4. I do think she'll have an amazing story some day!

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  5. I want our kids to be open with us too (as long as they do it respectfull). It has its pros and its cons but overall it has worked in our family because we are sharing our feelings and learning how to get along with others.

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