Keep being you, keep being kind.

The following letter was written by Jessica of  The Legacy of Leo for her son Eli. She writes to him as a teenager about the importance of being comfortable and willing to share his emotions.

 

 

 

 

Dear Eli,
As you begin to enter the world of adulthood I want to take a moment to make sure you know you can always talk to us about how you are feeling. How do you feel today? Are you able to tell someone if something upsets or bothers you? I hope there is someone you feel able to confide in about how you feel. You always have us though, always.
Some people might tell you things like, “boys don’t cry”, or “man up, pull yourself together” if boys and men get upset. I disagree, though. Boys do cry. And they don’t need to man up either. If you are upset, it’s okay to be upset. It you are happy, excited, or just content, that’s okay too. If you are anxious, worried, fearful, that’s okay.
I just want you to be able to talk about these emotions. Right now, they probably feel quite fast moving and vibrant. Often, emotions can change very quickly. Other times, some emotions hang around for a long time and you can’t shift them, even if you want too. Some may feel more uncomfortable than others. That’s okay, it happens to all of us – even adults. It’s just important to spend time learning your emotions, and finding out what helps you feel as calm as possible.
If you ever don’t feel able to talk to us, please find someone who you do feel comfortable talking to. It’s important to have these people in your life. They are special people, to be cherished. They should just listen to you, without judgement or critique. They might offer advice or another point of view, but you shouldn’t feel upset by their support. If you do, I’d suggest finding someone else – friend or family.
If you don’t feel able to talk to anyone sometimes, then maybe have a go at writing your thoughts down. Sometimes it can really help to make sense of them, and often you feel a lot calmer as a result. You could always write a letter if you want to share those feelings with someone, or just keep it to yourself.
Most importantly, just know you can share the thoughts and feelings that you have. I promise you’ll never be the first person to feel that way. If you are scared or find it difficult to understand your emotions, or they feel too overwhelming – remember you can always ask us for help. That’s okay too.
And return the favour to those who listen to you. Being able to give someone, anyone, time and space to share their thoughts with you is a gift, and everyone needs someone like that in their life.
Keep being you, keep being kind.
Love,
Your mummies

 

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You may feel like you do not need me

Artwork: Letters To Loved

 

The following letter was written by Alex for her daughter Phoebe. You can follow them both on Instagram.

 

Dear Phoebe Cecily Violet

When you read this you will no longer be a small child lying in my arms. You will no longer be small enough for me to carry. You will no longer fall asleep with my arms cuddling you whole.

You will no longer kiss me a hundred times a day and look at me like I am your universe.

You will no longer believe everything I tell you. You may feel like you do not need me.

When you read this you may have moments where you question yourself. You may meet people that make you question yourself.

When you read this you may have days when everything feels a little hard and though the sun is shining outside you may feel grey and sad.

You may have days where you find it hard to breathe.

You may not understand why you are having these feelings and don’t know what to do with them. You may not know who, if anyone you can talk to about it.

When you read this you may be screaming inside for me to hold you like you are little again and cry in my arms.

You may be lying on your bed holding your childhood meerkat toy that smells like sandpits and snufflerub and you just want to click your heels and be little again.

So when you read this I want you to know that you are not alone and that there are people around you who love you and are ready for you if your ever want someone to talk to.

That when you speak to someone that they may even have experienced similar things to you and may be able to help.

Mostly I want you to know that if you ever want to cry in my arms and for me to hold you tight, that you can.

That my arms are always here ready to fix that boo boo, no matter how big it is or how big you are,

Mama

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I feel lighter, more alive just watching from the side.

Artwork: Letters To Loved

Photo Credit: @ohhey_itsbeth

 

I spotted this short and sweet note on an Instagram post written by Toronto based Beth Barnes for her daughter ‘Bee’. You can follow Beth and her family on Instagram and catch her podcast “BEAUTY and Other Conversations (with Beth + Erin)” on iTunes.

 

 

To my Bee.

I feel lighter, more alive just watching from the side.

Watching her eyes shining, face flushed with joy as she discovers this new lithe body; her capabilities a welcome surprise even to herself. Legs are longer, free from the burdening armour of winters past, she can move faster than the wind… Birds sing, squirrels leap, and she bounds across the playground like a baby gazelle learning to run.
Closing her eyes as she slips down the slide, sucking in the fresh air, not landing but launching back around to the top, again.
Jumping, running, tumbling, sliding, shrieking with glee. Excited laughter filling the air between the bordering pines. We’re in a bubble. The only ones in the world. I can’t take my eyes off her. “Earth to my Bee – it’s time to go home for dinner.” Glazed eyes, biting her lower lip, searching for “one last thing to do.” A second wind as she storms along the pines, one last lap before stepping from the park into the rest of her beautiful life.

My darling, my daughter. The world is yours. And it is wonderful.

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On the day we found out three will become four

Photo Credit: Adam Robertson

 

The following letter was written by Norfolk based mum Lauren for her little boy Dilan. You can read more on Lauren’s parenting and lifestyle blog Dilan and Me.

 

Dilan,

I’ve dreamt of being pregnant for so long now. Dreamt of giving you the baby brother or sister you ask for so very often. Dreamt of expanding our family, growing the love in our house and being able to watch you all grow up together.

I’ve worried that I’ve left it too long, that you’re childhood won’t be as magical as I wanted, as the potential age gap gets larger and larger. I’ve worried that bringing a new baby into our less than simple situation could be really hard.

But I’ve watched as you have met the new babies that have come into our lives, and I’ve seen how gentle, loving and caring you can be. I’ve watched as you’ve helped them, looked after them and loved them with all of your heart. So I know that having a baby of our own would give you so much joy.

Photo Credit: Adam Robertson

This morning.

Today we woke up together, you stroked my face and said good morning the way you always do. We went downstairs in our pyjamas and put on some cartoons. I left you playing as I went back upstairs and in the next 5 minutes your whole life changed and you had no idea.

The minute I saw the positive test I was overwhelmed with emotions. So much happiness, so much relief and elation. Excitement, real butterfly inducing stomach flipping excitement. The realisation that this is it, this is the beginning of the next chapter. A little panic and fear, which I think is normal given the circumstances.

But then something I didn’t expect hit me, and a wave of sadness washed over me as I realised that this was the end of something too. The end of ‘us’. I suddenly felt like a timer had started, and that our time of only having each other was limited. A 9 month countdown had already begun, and the time we have left is already ticking away.

 

Photo Credit: Adam Robertson

 

I started to feel a more urgent kind of panic, as I wondered how on earth we’d cope with such a huge interruption. How we would learn to meet everyone’s needs, and keep everyone happy. How I would manage to give you every piece of me that you deserve, and still nurture something so small who’s needs are even bigger. How I would manage being all things to all people, getting everything done without splitting myself in half. How to survive night feeds and sleep deprivation, whilst still giving you all the time and patience that you’re used to, without leaving you feeling pushed aside.

The feeling that settled as I thought it through was a familiar one, one that I’ve felt so often already on my journey through motherhood so far. Every milestone, every development, every day is tinged with this same bittersweet feeling. Happiness at the start of something new and exciting, but so much sadness at closing the door on the path we were previously on.

I went back downstairs and you leapt into my arms, nuzzling your face in to mine. Still no idea how much life just changed, no concept of the news I just had, but an intuition that a cuddle and a squeeze was what Mummy needs.

Will you ever forgive me for causing myself to stretch between two of you? Will you be sad that I’m no longer completely yours? Will I feel guilty for the times of compromise coming up, as I try to balance the needs of our growing family and my own?

 

Photo Credit: Adam Robertson

 

The truth is I don’t know, there’s no way that I possible could. I have to think back to the times I’ve watched on with joy, tears stinging my eyes, as you’ve kissed and cuddled other babies, loving on them so hard. Hold on to all the times that you’ve begged me for a brother or a sister, and remember all the dreams I’ve had of you and him or her, all the special times ahead.

You will be the most wonderful big brother, I have absolutely no doubts about that. There will be hard times, there always are, but I already know that we can survive it all. It will be tricky as we learn to share each other, as someone fresh and new enters our lives and finds their own little place. It won’t be easy my darling, but I just know it’s going to be incredible, and I’m so glad its a journey we can go on together. Because no matter what, it’ll always be you and me.

Unfortunately before I could post this our happy news ended sadly and I had a silent miscarriage in January, at what I believed to be 12 weeks pregnant. Part of me feels a huge amount of guilt for the sudden panic and doubt I had that morning, but I know that our little baby was desperately loved and wanted from that very moment. For a while I didn’t feel like I could post this, I would sit reading it with tears running down my face, but it is something that I want to share. I hope that’s okay with you all.

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Nothing hurts more than telling you “in a minute”

Photo credit: @bellesboutique

 

I’ve followed Laura and her beautiful family on social media for some time now and one of her instagram posts a few weeks ago really stood out for me. It was written for her son Harrison following the recent birth of his little sister Everly. It’s so heartfelt and honest and read so much like a beautiful letter I wanted to share it.

You can follow Laura and her family on Instagram or check out her YouTube channel.

 

Harrison,

Nothing hurts more than telling you “in a minute” or “later” when you ask if I’ll play with you for what feels like the millionth time.

Nothing makes me feel that lump in my throat more than not being the one to tuck you into bed to read Ben 10 books because the baby’s crying.

You’re often asleep by the time I’m kissing your cheek and telling you I love you and that’s another moment with you missed. You’re already in a sleepy haze when I climb into your bed, hug you and apologise for not giving you the every minute that you deserved today.

Even though I tell you a million times a day to the point like that you say “yes mum, I know!” I want to tell you one more time, I love you I love you I love you.

I want to colour in with you all day. I want to throw you around and tickle you and I want to build the highest towers and make bridges out of furniture, but sometimes, I have my hands full. I’m sorry for telling you to be quiet when you’re simply doing what little boys do and playing with your toys. I’m sorry for shouting when the slight drop of a toy wakes Everly. It’s not your fault and I’m so sorry that you are the one to tell me “it’s ok” from time to time at the moment. I should be the one telling you not to cry for being tired. I feel like a broken record sometimes, going over the same things and I’m sorry.

You’re so grown up that from time to time I forget that you’re still tiny too. You’re so understanding and you’ve dealt with becoming a big brother so well, I’m so proud. I couldn’t be prouder and Everly is so lucky to have you as a big brother. I won’t always be this tired H and I promise that tomorrow I’ll play loads more than today. I’ll build those towers and make the fastest slides for your cars. I’ll let you sneak the best treats from my special tin and keep it our little secret. I’ll try not to get cross, I promise. I’ll try not to blame you for the tiniest noise that makes Everly stir. I’ll hug you harder and read you as many pages of your book as you like.

Today’s been a harder day than normal, but again, you were so understanding and looked after your sister so well putting her socks back on when they fell off.

I love you Harrison.

Artwork: Letters To Loved

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