A Letter To My Daughter

This is a Mike Letter, complete with photo montage and watercolor.  Rufus the cat is completely unrelated.

This is a Mike Letter, complete with photo montage and watercolor. Rufus the cat is completely unrelated.

It’s my turn to host the blog hop!  Our theme this week is “The Last Letter I Wrote By Hand.”  Mike Miller, if you’re reading this, it’s in honor of you and the exquisite letters you’ve sent my way over the last 28 years.  Y’all seriously. Mike not only writes REAL letters, he writes them on paper he has made and/or painted by hand.

Letters are dear to me but have faded from my life for the most part.  There’s a Heineken box in the basement filled with all the letters I got while in high school and college.  When G and I were decluttering the den this weekend, he found a “To My Wife” Valentine stuck in a cabinet drawer…signed by Fartbuster.  Yeah, it was time for a cleaning!  I remember writing a letter on mint green paper to give to  Fartbuster on our wedding day.  I wonder what happened to those promises I meant so deeply that day.

Well, that was then.  This is now.  I do still write some letters, about two a year.

I keep a little journal for each of my children and I write letters to them about what’s going on in their lives at this date and how they are growing and changing.  I’ve been writing these letters since before they were born.

The first letter in Vivi’s journal is addressed to “Dear Pollywog,” because we didn’t even know then if we were having a boy or a girl.  That letter was composed in my cozy compartment on a train trip across Canada with the Cowboy Junkies.  Yeah, that was a cool letter.  A few months later, I wrote Vivi a letter from a beach in Puerto Rico before she was born.  I was watching a pelican dive and dive and dive for its dinner and it made me think about persistence.  I wanted her to know that it’s important to know that it sometimes takes 100 tries before you get what you’re aiming for.  There are letters about her first step and first word.  Her favorite knock-knock jokes and a picture she drew for Santa on a napkin we left next to the cookies and milk.

Old journal, new media

Old journal, new media

The last letter in that journal was written a year ago–I’ve had less impetus to write now that she and I TALK so much.  The letter described a typical Saturday morning, the games we played all piled in the big bed together and the mango she and Daddy shared for breakfast.  The pirate game we made up on the playfort and her favorite Octonauts shows.

On the page behind that letter is a little note she wrote to Daddy when she and I were on an adventure:  “I mist u som uhc dad. I luov u.  Thak u.”  One day, she’ll meet herself in these letters.

I guess that’s why we hold on to letters.  They capture those moments in the folds of the paper, the people we were on those days.  

What’s the last letter you wrote out by hand?  Want to read more stories about handwritten letters?  Follow these links to read more!

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11 thoughts on “A Letter To My Daughter

  1. christymimi

    I do still write letters, mainly to older relatives, but also to my Luddite sister, and friends in low places (mentally). And thank-you notes of course. I think there is nothing more disheartening than day after day of nothing but junk in the mailbox. When I see my name written in cursive on an envelope? I get ridiculously happy and smile all the way back into the house. Letters are important. I used to write to my grandparents all the time. Now my mother writes and sends me the occasional clipping from the hometown newspaper she thinks I’d be interested in. Also, I wish I had had the foresight to write letters to my own kids back when, but I’ve saved pretty much everything they have loved or created over the years. Signed, Packrat Extraordinaire

    1. Baddest Mother Ever

      I didn’t do traditional baby books or scrapbooks or all that other stuff for my kids. And I haven’t printed a digital photo in Carlos’ entire life. There’s something to be said for being a packrat!

      1. christymimi

        I don’t count digital photos as progress. I miss “real” pictures, photo albums, etc. I’m not organized enough (at all) to keep track of all the billions of pictures I have stored on Picasa or somewhere out in the ether on storage I’ve forgotten about. 🙁

  2. Lisa in Athens

    I know I hand-wrote one to my Granddaddy this year, until I found out how bad his eyesight has gotten. Now I type them in 36 font, which may not be big enough.

  3. MaryEllen Miller

    I absolutely LOVE handwritten correspondence! I send notes and letters to my kiddos (and my friends’ kiddos) when I have to send them some tedious piece of mail – insurance cards and the like. I hand-write our Christmas cards – no pre-stamped cards for the Miller household. When I experience a particularly fabulous bit of customer service, I send a written note of appreciation to the supervisor of the fantastic service provider. My project for this year, though, has been to include a handwritten joke on the checkstubs of every bill I pay (personal and business – ’cause my job is fun). I imagine that when the cash application reps are posting payments, they get a little chuckle once a month. That makes me smile.

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