I have not always been a writer of love notes. This is a relatively new thing. After Daughter #2 moved out I knew things had to change. I read several books on parenting and in a moment of inspiration I began leaving post-it notes here and there (in pockets, on doors, in backpacks) for the 2 still at home.
One day, my then 17-yr-old threw away all of the notes I had written for her (that until then had decorated her mirror), perhaps in a symbolic gesture. “I reject your love.” My feelings were hurt and it definitely slowed me down a little bit. Meanwhile things were increasingly tense, which further slowed me down. I regret that I had not learned the importance of pestering the children with the message “I love you. You cannot make me not love you.” I didn’t stop writing notes completely, but I wish I hadn’t missed a beat. When she moved out, I sent an e-mail that she ignored (claimed later that she didn’t receive it) but the well was pretty dry. Over the summer, I hit on the idea of mailing cards. I haven’t kept count, but I send a card every few weeks.
Throughout, I’ve continued to leave notes for the youngest. He put up a stocking (yes, we have a Christmas stocking that hangs in the hallway year-round) for receiving “mail” and if I go too long without leaving a note he subtly prompts me “Will I receive a letter today?”
Imagine my delight when I saw the note he left for me this morning.
I encourage every parent to be persistent in the message.
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