Letters to Our Daughters (April 2015)

I have been participating in a blog circle with some wonderful photographers who are also mothers of girls. Each month (more or less), 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. You can access all the letters by clicking HERE. Once you have read my letter, please follow continue on to see what my friend Jennifer Vititoe wrote by clicking HERE.

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Dear Avery and Alexa,

My babies, my monkeys, my funny girls.  Last week you were on Spring Break.  Most often we travel on your breaks, but this time we did not.  We just stayed here in Seattle and we hung out.  We went to gymnastics, and we went swimming.  We went to the beach and we went to the zoo.  You did a day of camp, a cooking school, where you made hamburgers, fries and a chocolate milk shake.  You loved it, of course.  During all this, we didn’t fully abandon our schedules, but we weren’t particularly strict with them either.  Lots of time was spent here in the house – playing with your toys and building many forts.  You pretended to sleep, snuggled up, with every pillow, plenty of toys and half the couch cushions surrounding you.

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We will have several weeks this summer when you will be home with me and not in school or camp or anything scheduled.  Last year, I was worried that it would be too much to have you both home for long stretches of time, so Avery you went to camp quite a lot.  In the end, you got along and played together so well that I regretted that we were so busy and didn’t get to have life slow down enough.  I am looking forward to more free time this summer, but I am still a little nervous.  Without things like school to get us out of the house first thing, we sometimes can’t seem to get anywhere at all.  Lunch plans are cancelled, naps happen late and we fail to make it to late afternoon play dates.

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And then there is this.  The damned electronics.  The iPhones and iPad and YouTube and Nintendo Wii.  I hide them, but you find them.  They are irresistible.  Even for me – I know I am addicted to my silly phone myself and it is the worst of examples.  You play with these things for a little and they give me a break, but for longer and they make you just terrible.  Just today I changed the codes on my iPhone and the iPads from the ones that you learned, and you were so angry.  Alexa, you told me that you didn’t want to be my kid anymore!  You took it back quickly, but you were mad – even if it’s usually your sister who manages to get into the toys and control them.  I don’t want a summer full of this crap.  I want to be outside, at the park or the beach – or even with you on the patio playing with your water table.  I have no interest in a summer full of movies and electronic games.  We all need to learn to be bored, to let boredom inspire us to be creative.  These gadgets get in the way of that, time and again.

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I hope that we can have a summer that is a balance of relaxation and fun.  Your mother has a serious case of FOMO (fear of missing out) and a tendency to over-schedule and over-commit, so I know I need to be careful.  I remember my childhood summers as long, carefree days and I want to have that for you, too.  I need to remember that days of fort building, where we barely manage to get out of the house (at least not beyond the coffee shop – that is a daily requirement), are an important component of a successful summer.  That we are lucky to have a playground across the street, and a beach 5 minutes away, and that if we do little more than that we have still done more than a summer day requires.

I am so excited to have this time with you now.  Avery, you start kindergarten soon and will be away from me and from Alexa for a much larger chunk of time.  So I want to take advantage of these long expanses of time together while I can.  I have so much fun with you – being your mom is the absolute best!  I love you.

love,
Mama

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