My son is almost a carbon copy of his father. I love them both more than words can describe, but it also means that the things that irritate me about my husband are showing themselves in my son too.
Needless to say we butt heads. Often.
Most of our fighting is about his insistence on doing something his way, and my stubbornness in saying no — even if his way is reasonable. It is something I need to work on in understanding his perspective more, but I often find this hard to do in practice. Our days after work/school are busy and chaotic. We have homework to do, dinners to make, a 2-year-old
wanting commanding my attention, and most times I just need it to get DONE!
At the end of a bad day, when I tuck him in at night, I make sure to tell him that I’m sorry, that I love him, and we will both try harder tomorrow. That time is so short and I can’t always find the words to tell him what a great kid he really is. It usually happens in the moments when I am making lunches or perusing the internet that I think about it and what a jackass I was during the day. I think about all of the things I should have done or said, but it’s too late now.
Or is it?
Sometimes when we speak we get caught up on words or emotions and don’t have the time to fully flesh out how we really feel. I remember getting letters from my husband back when we were dating. It was the best feeling, and it also allowed for us to have something tangible to hold on to in those times when we loved each other, but didn’t really like each other so much.
So why not do this with our kids?
A while back Jennifer put out a Call to Hands– to write more letters, in your own handwriting to your loved ones or pen pals and send it to them. I’m proposing we need to do this more often with our kids.
Miles is old enough to read and write now (and write in a way I can actually read!). At night, after I have thought through my actions and emotions, I am going to slip a note under his pillow. It will be my time to tell him how much I love him, what I expect from him, what I know I have done wrong, or just about how much fun my life is with him in it. I will ask him to write me back. He can respond, or just ask questions, or tell me something he didn’t have time to tell be the day before.
I think this will really help us to communicate in a way that our normal day would not allow. We will have the time to think about things, with a clearer head, and try to grow and learn together.
Will you join me?