Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Letters To My Boys

I write letters to the boys at the end of each month to let them know about everything going on in their lives.  I've done this every month since they were born so I have exactly 117 letters for Nicholas and 93 for Christopher so far.  I print them out and put them in a page protector in a 3-ring binder.  It's an OK storage solution, but not ideal. 

When a friend of mine introduced me to Blurb I thought it would be nice to take those letters and turn them into an actual hardcover-bound book for each of the boys.  I decided to break the job into chunks so I've only done years 1-5 for Nicholas so far and I'm working on Christopher's first five years.  The letters are already written, but I have to cut and paste them from MS Word into Blurb.  Also, as is my nature, I make projects as difficult for myself as humanly possible, so I decided to add pictures to the left page in the book to correspond to the letter printed on the right side of the page.  Because my picture organizer has18,356 pictures in a ridiculous number of folders it's very time-consuming to choose which pictures to include.  I didn't keep track of how long it took for me to do Nicholas's first five years, but it was a very long time.  I finally finished and ordered his book.

Now I don't want to give it to him!  It's beautiful.  It's so fun to flip through various months and years and see what we were up to. And, this book only includes Nicholas's first five years!  Imagine what it will be like for Nicholas and Christopher both to see a three or four volume set of the history of their lives.  It's amazing. 

I'm working on Christopher's "first-five-years" book and I'm hoping to give them their books by the time their birthdays roll around in April. After I get Christopher's book done it's back to the drawing board for Nicholas's second-five-years book.  Christopher isn't old enough for volume two yet :)

I also have a secret hope for the books.  I'm hoping that after one of our many arguments about why I'm the meanest mother in the world and how my kids thinks it's my life's mission to make their lives miserable, they will storm off to their rooms and flop down on their beds.  They will open their books and start reading about all of our picnics in the park and trips to the zoo.  I hope they smile as they reminisce about all the times we went roller-skating or swimming or to the library.  I hope they laugh when they read about the first time they learned to ride a bike or jump off the swing. 

I'm sure they will cringe when they are reminded of our Magic Kingdom lunch at Cinderella's castle where I insisted they have photo-ops with the prince and princesses before they got too old to refuse.

After reading a few letters I hope their anger fades as they remember how much fun we really do have together.  I hope they stop muttering under their breath and realize I'm not so mean after all.  Every single letter is filled with wonderful memories and every single letter reminds them how much I love them and love being their mom.

My letters started as a way to fill in the gaps in their memories.  But, hopefully, the letters will serve a bigger purpose and fill in the gaps when saying "I love you" starts falling on deaf, angry ears but reading about how much I love them will live in their hearts forever.


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