Written by Donna McClintock, COO with Children’s Choice Learning Centers, Inc.
Almost all of us started a baby book and kept up with firsts … first tooth, first shots, first time she sat up, and the dates he crawled and walked are pretty standard. I want to challenge you to go beyond the traditional documentation.
My 21-month-old grandson, Holton, was clearly in charge of our family as we walked into church the other day. We always sit on the same side in a certain seat order. It is just what we do. I was speaking to some folks, but Holton was ready for us to go to our place. He led the entire family to our spot, patted the chairs where we were to sit, and then climbed into my lap. It was such a sweet and moving experience for many reasons.
When I got home that afternoon, I put all my thoughts into a letter to him. I had to write down the qualities that I saw in him that day that I want him to apply later in life. Of course, he cannot read it now; but one day, he will know how I felt about him in that moment on that Sunday morning. I tried to capture the dreams, prayers, and insight I had into his little personality in that note to him. He is a leader — we can see that already. He had no problem looking up at his Poppy and saying, “Sit.” He had a clear plan and didn’t let anyone or anything get in his way. The truth is that I have been writing letters to all three grandkids since they were born and plan to give the letters to them around high-school graduation time.
Feelings such as these will not be remembered forever, so I encourage you to keep a journal. If you are not a writer, recording your thoughts on your phone or video recorder would be a great way to save them. Find your own way to capture how you feel about your children or grandchildren in the special moments of your lives together so that they can review them over and over as they need them. You will be giving them insight into their lives as they grew up.
I encourage you to look beyond just the simple action and chronicle the gift/talent that you see in your child. Write down what you saw and the actions that allowed you to witness that trait. Your child will love reading about his life. Who knows how your insight might one day give him direction at a critical crossroad?
I firmly believe we add value to our children’s lives when we share our view of their successes, their wins, and their personalities while also providing them with many reminders of our love and devotion to them. I am hoping to give my Ava, Ella, and Holton many letters of love with some insight into all the great things I have seen in them through the years. I encourage you to think about how you can pass along the story of your child’s life that she can keep with her forever. It will be a treasured memory of you and a great story of your love for her.