Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Assignments and what ifs.

Our family was given an “assignment” of sorts by Banana’s kindergarten teacher. One we attacked with full on focus and heartfelt emotion. One that was bittersweet for me.

Banana is the “Star of the Week” this week. That means each day something special happens for her. For the entire week, a large poster about her is hung in her classroom. My girls and I painstakingly made her posterboard Sunday. It’s got loads of pictures, her favorite things, glitter and stickers and people? The posterboard is neon pink. To say Banana was excited is a huge understatement.

Wednesday the parents are asked to write a letter to their child and the teacher will read it aloud to them. I told Rambo on one of his slow days at the prison – that he needed to write her a letter. For me – it’d take 5 minutes because I’m used to writing. I knew for him it would be harder and evoke emotions he hasn’t put into words on paper before.

He sent me his letter when he was done with it. It mattered to him a lot more than I thought it would.  I know this because no less than 3 times did he ask me if it was alright last night.  He wondered if she'd like it.  Even today - before he went to work - he asked again if I was sure what he wrote was okay.

I should have told him that it’s probably one of the sweetest things I’ve ever read. The last sentence said, “You’re the Star of the Week every week to me. I love you my little bear cub, Daddy.”

She’ll keep that forever.

I wrote my letter and folded it up to put with Rambo’s. When Watermelon figured out what we had done, she wanted to write her own for Banana. Again – sweetest thing ever. I don’t know how that teacher is gonna read them out loud with crying. Or maybe she’s used to doing it.

And just so Watermelon wouldn’t feel left out since we were all writing letters for Banana, I decided to finally do something that has been on my “to do” list for months. I’d love to take credit for it but I saw the idea on Supernanny. I love that British woman.

I took about 10 bright sticky notes and wrote messages on them. Like:

You are talented. You are beautiful. You are smart.
You can be anything you want to be.
You have gorgeous hair. You have sparkling eyes. You have an amazing smile.
You are the best daughter we could ever ask for.
You are the best big sister that I have ever seen.
Daddy and I love you more every single day.

You get the picture. I got home and I stuck them everywhere. On her mirror. On her notebook. Her desk. Her window. Her dresser. Everywhere.

She went in to do her homework and found the one on her desk and came out and thanked me. It took a good 15 minutes before she realized I had left them all over her room. She was glowing.

I had left one for Banana on her own mirror that said, “We love you. Mom and Dad.”

She got home, saw it, grabbed it off her mirror and comes out in the kitchen and yells, “People – what the heck does this even say?”

Oops – she can’t read. Ha. Watermelon translated it for her.

When I was getting ready for bed, Banana says to me, “Mama – when you go to bed you might want to look for a note. Someone might have left you one.”

She’s so sneaky huh?

So I go to bed. I see no note. I yell for Banana and say, “Honey, I’m sorry. I didn’t see any note. Where did you put it?”

She points to the wall behind our bed. And there it is. A note – written by Watermelon as directed by Banana – stuck to our wall with a piece of tape. It says, “Dad and Mom – I will love you forever.”

Once she knew I saw it – she skipped out of the room. Too funny.

I left the note stuck there. I may leave it there forever.

As I turned off the lights and went to sleep I wondered again what I often wonder. Are Rambo and I doing at least something right? Will they be as messed up as I am when they get older and will they blame us? Do they know without a single doubt that we love them immensely?

And then I wonder what I would have been like had my parents been the kind of people who could have written me a note or letter. Just one note – just one indication that they loved me. Documented. Written down to save forever. Because they weren’t the kind of people that could say it out loud.

Instead I wondered every day.

I was a child who needed more. I needed posterboards and giggling and goodnight hugs and kisses. I needed notes. I needed to know they knew I existed as a person and not just a dependent.

I needed more. Who would I have been if I had gotten it?

I’ll never know. I’ll only be able to make sure my daughters never have to ask that question when they are older.


Kelliann said...

You and Rambo are awesome, awesome parents. I'm stealing your idea about the sticky notes - but not till my boys are old enough to read. :-) I can just picture your little ones swelling with pride and love... you are a lucky woman, and your kids are super lucky little girls.

jennxaz said...

ah had me bawling at my desk. That has to be the sweetest thing getting the note and leaving one. LOVE IT! Its the little things isn't it?

Stephanie said...

You are totally awesome and yep, I'm stealing your idea too. I always remind Sarah how much I love and adore her, how proud I am of how well she does in school, etc...but some sticky notes would be a nice surprise. you know how you like pens? Sarah is a sticky note junkie. She loves writing us messages on them...she's done that for years!

Dawnya said...

I swear I'm going to stop reading this blog. You always make me cry!!! Not cool on the day I decide to wear mascara!!!! and Rambo are definetly doing something right.

Lisa said...

I am so happy I don't have mascara on now. WOW. You just ripped into my heart and tugged hard on it. What a beautiful post! I was fortunate to have an amazing mother who did tell me and a biological father who told me the opposite. I can tell you, it will create amazing and close bonds to know they are good enough and loved beyond measure. I am sorry you didn't have that. As children and adult kids, we all need it.

october 11 said...

Wow! I almost cried just reading this!!

terbear287 said...

you are awesome. I love to read your blog. I am so going home tonight to post-it note all over the place for my girlie girl. Good job mom! and thanks for the idea.

Fat in Suburbia said...

Wow! What great parents you and Rambo are. and how special are your daughters? Too much! Love it!

Sarah from Onmyweightohappiness said...

Oh my heavens what an incredible post! You had me in tears Draz! You and Rambo are amazing parents,your girls are so lucky to have you!

MandaPanda said...

Such a sweet, sweet post. But to answer your question, yes your kids will be messed up and yes they will blame it on you. Just in different ways. Hopefully there won't be any permanent emotional scars or healing that needs to happen as it has for you but I think we all mess up our kids one way or another becuase no one's perfect. I'm hoping to give my girls interesting fodder for their future therapy lessons. LOL

Sam said...

Sounds like you are both amazing parents and your girls will always know that they are very much loved!!!

Rachel said...

again, you gotta stop with these posts... because I will go off all forms of birth control... and we know what will happen then...

ps. i love your kids. and you... and rambo.

RockBand Barbie said...

Love this! My mom used to leave me random notes in my notebook, in the bathroom, etc. that would say things like "Smile...someone loves you bunches" and I loved it!! I still do the same thing for my kids and they are 18 and 26.

Stacey said...

Jeez, I'm at work, you made me cry. Now they think I get emotional over goal scaling for the patients. Thanks! :)

Robyn's Nest said...

You are a great momma. You are doing for them everything that will make sure they are whole and happy.

Camille said...

I often look at my daughter and hope she knows how much we love and value her. I just don't think you can tell and show your kids their worth enough. Great post. Thanks for sharing, and I love stories about your daughters.

Jessica said...

Your kids are the cutest!!

Jenny said...

Awwww...that is SO sweet! Made me cry too and you know I'm a dried up ole bitch. haha! xoxo

Lucy said...

Just think maybe if they had done different something would haved changed and u wouldnt have Ranbo and the girls. No matter how hard my past was Im so thankful for the person I am and tge people I love. You sound like a wonderful Mom

FitBy40 said...

You're doing LOTS of things right! What a fantastic idea, and I'm stealing it for Valentine's Day.
I think you turned out just right, and your girls will turn out even better because they have you as a mom!

Life Love & High Heels said...

Awwwww this is such a wonderful post. They will certainly remember that forever!

Andrea said...

I'm pretty sure y'all are the best parents ever! What a great idea of things to do. They will both remember those things forever!

mommykinz said...

Fun - I want to do the sticky post its too!
My mom used to put poems and notes in my lunch box

Cat said...

You almost make me want to have a kid, just so I can do something like this that makes him or her feel so loved.

Well, almost. I really like the freedom of not having kids too.

Catherine55 said...

This is so wonderful -- totally got me teared up!! I love it!!

trisha said... are SO GOOD at being the mom that most women go to their graves wishing they could of been...and everytime i read your blog and feel the emotion that your cup overflows with when speaking of your babies, it makes me question yet again if i am meant to be a mommy in this life. and it's not a bad thing that it makes me think that, it just makes me realize how in order to do it and do it right, i'd have to do it up to the par that you do, and i just don't know if i am capable of being that selfless of a person. the majority of people aren't, but you're the exception, IMO. rock on sister. you're living the dream! xoxo

Ronnie said...

They'll never forget that. Great job, Mom! :)

Jen M. said...

That was a heart-wrenching post! I almost started crying! That is my goal as a mom too- to make sure the children know I love them and know how truly wonderful and special they are. Thank you so much for sharing this. The post-its are a great idea. My 5-year-old would truly appreciate it. :)