As you probably recall, I have been participating in a blog circle with some wonderful photographers who are also mothers of girls. Each month, we write a letter to our daughters to preserve thoughts and memories of this time in our lives. I treasure being able to do this for my girls and I love the chance to see the messages that my friends leave for their own daughters. Once you have read my letter, please follow continue on and read the post that my incredibly talented friend, Aimee McNamee of Richmond, Virginia, has written to her daughters by clicking HERE.
Before I begin, I also want to send some special love out to another photographer who is in our circle, but not participating this month. Tragically, the lovely Bonnie Hussey lost her sister and her unborn nephew just yesterday in a car accident. My heart goes out to Bonnie and her family in this terrible time. I do not have a sister myself, but my two girls have given me an incredible appreciation for the love that can exist between them. Though I have no doubt that there will be difficult moments, my hope is that my two girls will be lifelong friends and support for one another – that they will always be there for the other. My heart simply breaks for Bonnie at this unfathomable loss.
Dear Avery and Alexa,
Once again, I have left writing this letter to the very last minute and I am rushing through again. I am still rather jet lagged from our recent trip to the east coast, and I managed to take so many hundreds of photos there that I’ve been overwhelmed making my way through them. I love taking photos to document all of our adventures, but I really must get more organized about editing them so they do more than just sit on our computer! (I didn’t even get to the part of our trip where we visit with your dad’s family in Ohio. I will have to do a follow-up post!).
I want to tell you that we had a really wonderful trip. Shortly after my last letter to you, the three of us boarded a flight (the first of seven on our journey) to New Jersey. Many people remarked that I was “brave” for traveling cross country alone with two children, but in this family we value adventure. You two are wonderful traveling companions (especially if we fly in the mornings – in the evenings, well, not so much). Moreover, I want you to know that we make efforts to see the people whom we love. This is something that matters, making an effort to keep in touch, to keep important relationships alive. True friendships, true love, will survive time and distance, but it is still important to make that effort to let people know that we love them. It is not always easy – caring for you two is wonderful, but it does not leave me an excess of time and energy – but we do our best. And I am so glad that we did, because it was so good to have that time. This trip was long enough that there are parts I will not get to in this letter and will have to wait for another day. Like I said, we do our best. 🙂
In the first part of our trip, we spent time in New Jersey with Grandma and Abaji, as well as with many dear friends. The weather was lovely and we were able to spend plenty of time by the pool. I was thrilled that you were able to do important things like run around naked outside, and wear cool hats that your Grandma got for you. Sometimes I look at you two and think that you are so much cooler than I could ever be.
We also went into New York City to visit with friends there. We spent a lot of time in Central Park, which is one of my favorite places in the world. We visited the zoo – something we used to do quite a bit when we used to live there. It was fantastic to see Alexa get to explore the places that Avery used to love so much. And feed sheep and goats too, of course. Not to mention that Alexa began her little love affair with Uncle Aaron (it might be the beard, I don’t know, but you two are awfully cute together).
After almost a week in New Jersey and New York City, we flew to Aruba. It was so relaxing to be beach bums for a few days. We spent time on the beach, visited the Butterfly Farm, went looking for lizards and turtles, and took early morning walks. And, of course, there were lots of snuggles that were needed, like with Auntie Maleeha, or “Eeeha” as Alexa says. It was heavenly.
Then we returned to New Jersey and were met by Dad, whom we’d been missing terribly! We also were able to spend time with Uncle Omar, to play in Red Bank, to eat chocolate with Grandma.
On July 4th, which is my birthday, our friends came to Grandma and Abaji’s house and we had a pool party. It was one of the most wonderful birthdays that I can remember. I loved seeing Avery catch up with her friends James and Rhett. The three of you have been friends since before you were even born, so seeing you together again just made me so happy. And I was so proud of you for learning to jump off the diving board. The first day after we arrived from Seattle, you walked to the end of the board, but you were afraid to jump. On the 4th, you first wanted someone in the water to catch you, but before long you were jumping in on your own. The three of you spent most of the day jumping off the diving board and it was so fun to watch.
I also saw that, through our trip, the two of you became such great friends. You entertained one another better than any toy or TV show ever could. I loved seeing your friendship deepen. I am not sure if there is anything in the world that makes your dad and I as happy as the love between the two of you. Though I know that you are too young to remember the details of this trip, I do hope that your friendship, your sense of adventure, and the importance of keeping up with the people you love are never forgotten. This world can be a really wonderful place, and I hope you remember to just jump right in.