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 to see what the lovely Jennifer Vititoe wrote to her daughter by clicking HERE.
Dear Avery and Alexa,
My little monkeys, it is the most wonderful time of the year and we are doing Christmas up! Since we returned from our trip to NJ for Thanksgiving, we have been doing at least one holiday-related event each day. It’s been so much fun! I love passing on and creating new traditions with you, and seeing the holidays through your eyes. We have done so many things already – saw Frozen in the theater, made gingerbread cookies and decorated them, decorated gingerbread houses, made hot chocolate with candy canes and made a batch of gingerbread play dough for your friends. You’ve been painting ornaments for presents, and you have your own felt Christmas tree in your room that you’ve been redecorating regularly.
We went out together in the frigid Seattle weather (frigid for Seattle at least!) and got our tree. You two had such fun running around, under and behind the trees! And you’ve helped us to decorate (and, well, undecorate too)!
We have been talking a bit about the “meaning” of Christmas (we are decidedly not religious, so I am not referring to that). I love Christmas, and I love the things that I believe it stands for – things like kindness, charity, family, selflessness, and caring for others. Tomorrow we will be joining some of our local photographer friends and their children and bringing some treats to a senior center – along with a plan where we will sing some Christmas carols for them. I am a little concerned about how well we will do with that endeavor, especially since you both like to make up your own words for songs (yesterday I learned about Santa’s other reindeer – Bouncer, Basher and Pantser – hmmmm….), but I hope that you will manage to spread some good cheer and learn how good that can feel.
Today was a complicated lesson in this same arena. On my way to preschool pick-up, I noticed a car parked on the corner that was so filled with junk I was certain someone was living in there. I’ve been reading article after article recently about how we have lost our social safety net, and how more and more people are falling over the edge and ending up homeless. Avery, when I picked you up, I told you that I thought there was someone who needed food nearby, and asked if we should make her some lunch. You thought it was a great idea, and began helping me pack things up. This picture above, with my two helpers, was taken before we headed out to bring food to the woman in the car. When we arrived and spoke to her, she told us that she is not homeless, she just has a dirty car because she takes care of others and spends so much time in it. She told you both how sweet you were, but she wouldn’t accept the food, not even the cookies we’d baked, though you told her how you’d helped to make them. I don’t believe her – I think she needed help but was uncomfortable accepting it – and I’ve been sad ever since. One day, when you are older and are reading this, I want you to remember that it is ok to accept help when it is offered. The times that we need help the most are the times that it is hardest to ask for it or to accept it. You *should* accept it, and never be embarrassed that you did so. No one out there really makes it on their own – we have all had help. Get over the discomfort of offering and the embarrassment of accepting.
In the meanwhile, I am going to make sure that your silly elf reports to Santa what wonderful kids you are and how fantastic you’ve been at soaking in the Christmas spirit and spreading good cheer. Despite my sadness today, you both are making this season the most fun I’ve had since I was a little girl. I love you both so much and am so very proud of you. Merry Christmas, my angels.