I mailed this letter from work to my daughter six years ago. She was 10. 10-year-old girl's love getting their own mail. It makes them feel special. She's 16 now. It was important then that she now how crazy, madly in love I was with her. That need to know the love of a parent never changes. That need to know one's worth never leaves. I suspected (and hoped) she would keep this. However, I haven't seen it since I mailed it and had forgotten about it completely until she just showed it to me. I don't know if it means as much to her as it does to me or not, but she did keep it and I do know that she does knows she'll never have to doubt how much her dad loves her.
This is just one of many, many, many letters, notes and drawings I've mailed and/or given to my kids over the years; many silly, some profound, and all communicate the same message: "You matter to me... A LOT! So much so that I took the time to think of you and to do this." And kids keep these things. I know I did. My own mom was always leaving notes for us—some informative to let us know this or that, run this errand, take care of that thing; but all of them were also love letters to her children with opening lines like, "Dear One" or "Sonshine" and all ended in, "I love you so much, Mother." I have large stack of these in my files that I turn to every know and then. They have meant so much to me over the years to know that I was and am loved. And they mean even more to me now that my mother is gone (she passed away 15 years ago) that I still have this connection with her.
Years ago in a child development class I heard the following quote that crystalized how I feel about treating children in general and my children specfically, and it has become a part of my mission in life:
Every child needs someone who is crazy about him! —Urie Bronfenbrenner
The above quote is actually a paraphrase of Dr. Urie Bronfenbrenner's full quote,
Somebody’s got to be crazy about that kid, and vice versa! But what does "crazy" mean? It means that the adult in question regards this particular child as somehow special — even though objectively the adult may well know that this is not the case... For the child, the adult is also special — someone to whom the child turns most readily in trouble and in joy, and whose comings and goings are central to the child’s experience and wellbeing. —Urie Bronfenbrenner
So this is one way of letting your kids know you are absolutely, crazy, nutso-gonzo about them. How do YOU let your kids know you love them? Please share your ideas and comments below.