Got end of the school year blues?
As the school year comes to a close, I can’t help but feel nostalgic––more so than when my kids begin a new school year. I know as parents we often ask ourselves questions like: “Where did the time go?” “Why does each year seem to be going faster than the last?” Before you roll your eyes at these cliches thinking “well, that’s just life” consider that there is a special way to freeze frame the year momentarily.
This month, my son’s third grade teacher asked the parents to consider writing a letter to their future 8th grader. The letters will be placed in a time capsule, and they will read them when they are preparing to graduate from 8th grade.
As much as I loved this idea, I admit I was dragging my feet about getting my letter written. This is a crazy time of year after all. But, once I sat down and started writing, I had a hard time stopping! I had so much fun thinking about the events of the past year.
Want to try this project? Here are few things to include in your letter if you are stumped about how to begin:
- Write down the funny things that your child said or did.
- Talk about the different projects she engaged in over the school year that she really enjoyed.
- Note the activities she especially loved to participate in.
- Discuss the family’s highlights from the year.
- Mention the character traits you are especially proud of when you think of your child.
- Include inspiring advice that you think your future child might need to hear as she starts her high school years and begins preparing for college.
- Add a favorite quote that reminds you of your child.
I found this process deeply reflective and it helped me see the positive side of parenting. I have a tendency to get deep into the weeds and really focus on everything I’m doing wrong as a parent and what I need to fix. It’s healing and helpful to look at the things my husband and I are doing right.
Letter writing to the future is a grounding process. But it’s something you can start way before your kids ever enter school. I wrote a letter to my son before he was born that I intend to give to him when he turns 18. I wanted him to know how excited we were as we were about to start our journey into parenthood.
I encourage you take a moment. Reflect on your children’s year, whether they are staring at you sweetly from their baby carriers, in the throes of toddlerhood, preparing to enter kindergarten, trudging toward middle school, or chomping at the bit to go off to college.
Imagine your children someday in the future when they are grappling with thousands of questions, wondering what their purpose is in life.You’ll be giving them a simple keepsake in your own handwriting. A nostalgic glimpse back into fleet-footed childhood. And most of all, you will remind them of what a special treasure they are to the world around them and especially, to you.