Thursday, January 29, 2009

a REAL letter to my step-daughter

So...you all get that yesterday's blog was a joke, right? I feel I must clarify in case someone has Child Services on the phone right now.

The truth is, yesterday's blog started out as a serious entry. The idea for writing a letter to my daughter came from a magazine article I read a few months back.

In the article, some writer's had the idea to compose letters to their children of the future. For example, a man writes a letter for his son to read the first time he wrecks the family car. Or a mother writes a letter for her daughter to read before her first date.

I thought this was a spectacular idea and sat down yesterday fully intending to write a similar letter to my step-daughter. Unfortunately, images of The Real Housewives of Orange County parenting skills kept popping into my head, and I decided to explore what a letter from them to a child might sound like.

So today, I will compose a letter to my eldest step-daughter for real. This time I'm being serious...


To My Oldest Step-Daughter During Her First Break Up:

I know it hurts. You can't begin to imagine how well I know that it hurts. You feel like you can't breathe, and that someone is drilling a hole right through your heart, and laughing as you bleed. And no matter what Daddy or I or Mommy say, it doesn't make the pain go away.

I wish I could tell you that the pain won't last very long, and that everything will be all right in the morning. But honestly, tomorrow might even hurt more than today. And the next day after that might even be worse than tomorrow. But you know what? When you get to the point where you think it can't possibly hurt any more, it will somehow start to get better.

One morning you will wake up and you'll make it all the way to the shower without thinking about him. And the next morning, you might make it to your locker before you remember what he's putting you through. There will always be the memory of what happened, but with each passing day, that memory will fade.

I know that right now Daddy and I aren't helping much. We try to cheer you up by telling you stories of when our hearts were broken, and how we got through it. I know we tell you that you're better off without him, and you deserve a guy who wouldn't do this to you. And while all those things are true, they aren't making the ache go away.

I know he seems like the only boy for you. You love the way he waited for you after class and called you special nicknames. I know you have inside jokes that Daddy and I will never hope to figure out. I know you are staring at the phone and waiting for him to call, picking it up every few minutes to make sure there's a dial tone. I know the longer you stare at it, the more you beat yourself up because it isn't ringing.

You don't understand why this is happening. The truth is, you may not have that answer for a very, very long time. But I do know this - someday it will make sense.

Maybe the greatest guy you've ever known is going through this exact same heartache right now. He is lost in a sea of tears and confusion too, and he's waiting for someone like you to turn up...he just needs a little time to find you.

Maybe when your heart has healed from all of this, you will meet that great guy. And you won't even be looking for him. And because you've both been hurt, you will be sure to care of each other, to treat each other the way you always wanted to be treated. He will be worthy of you, and you will be worthy of him. And then maybe, just maybe, you will understand why all of this happened.

There is nothing I would rather do right now than snap my fingers and make your pain disappear. Seeing that you want to smile but just can't get the energy to do it...it breaks my heart. Seeing that you want to laugh, but are afraid it will turn into a sob...it makes me cry with you. Watching as you ask yourself again and again why you aren't good enough...it leaves me feeling completely helpless.

I have been through your situation more times than I can count. But do you know what I remember from those times? I remember knowing that my family was there for me. Seriously.

My Mom and Dad were there to watch ridiculous sitcom's with me on those first lonely Friday nights. And although they were certainly no substitute for an 11th grade stud-muffin to hold hands and make out with, hanging out with them certainly had its perks. I didn't have to worry if my sweatpants made my butt look big on the couch. They didn't care if I ate an entire tub of popcorn and then followed it with a 64 ounce soda. And ice cream. I didn't have to worry if I had butter breath when I hugged them good-night. And in the morning, Dad was always up and ready to make my favorite breakfast.

The truth is, after a few nights of unconditional (and kind of irritating) love from my silly, embarrassing family, I started to feel my batteries recharge. I began to feel like I could handle this situation. And the best part was, even if I was wrong, I knew I could come back home. And they would be waiting.

I know your heart isn't going to heal today, honey. Part of you is closed right now, and to open up would make it all that much harder. Just know you don't have to say anything. You don't have to tell us how you're doing. We'll already know. We know your happy face, your confused face, your hopeful face and your heartbroken face. And we love them all.

If you want to talk about anything, you can come to us and we will be here. With a big tub of popcorn.

Love,
Kim and Daddy

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

What a sweet, loving letter for her. Like you, I would hope she never ever needs it. It could happen. Raise her to know she deserves great treatment and she will never settle for the guy that doesn't always put her feelings first!

But then how do you know when you have the real thing unless you kiss a few toads first?

Aunt Joy

Adriana said...

Such a good idea although I will have to wait until my daughter is a little older cause I am definately not ready to think about the drama that is inevitable to come. Makes me curious though who you dated in HS. Great letter!

Anonymous said...

I saw your blog and thought you would appreciate this link http://www.posttothefuture.com. Here, you can write letters (or send them your handwritten ones) and they will print and post them to whom ever you have written them for at the future date you decide. I have written letters which will be received my family in years to come, wriiten at key points in my/their lives. Post to the Future will print and send real letters, not emails. I hope you enjoy it.