Monday, March 2, 2009

Love Notes

I remember as a child leaving love notes on my parents' pillows after doing some special for them. I loved to surprise them with a little message of love, and I couldn't wait to become a mother some day and leave love notes on my children's pillows or in their lunch boxes. There's just nothing like finding a little, unexpected note that says someone is thinking of you.

Unfortunately, time marches on without interruption, and I often find it's been a while since I have left any sort of written encouragement for my children. I recently went out of town for the weekend with my children, and as I was rushing out the door I was reminded that I wanted to leave a little note on my husband's pillow to let him know I would miss him while I was gone. I set down my pile of coats and pulled out a pencil and note book, placing it strategically on the bed before rushing out the door. I couldn't help but smile as I thought of him finding the note. I decided I needed to write one to each of my children more often. There's something about the written word that touches hearts, sometimes even more deeply than words themselves. Plus, I love to rediscover little notes my children have written me that I've stowed away. They always bring a smile to my face and touch my soul.

A couple of days ago my nine-year-old, in frustration, said, "Tell me what I'm doing right, Mom. Don't tell me what I'm doing wrong."

She's right, I thought. I need to focus more on what she's doing right. It was only a short time later I found this little note I had written her a few months earlier, at a time I felt she was struggling a little bit. It read:

My Dear, Sweet Hallee, ("dear" and "sweet" are adjectives) --Note: We had been working on adjectives in her homework.

I just wanted you to know, in case you may have forgotten, how very much I love you and what an incredible girl you are! You have always been a sweetheart, someone I could rely on, capable of many things beyond your age, and I have loved you with all of my heart from the moment I knew I would be your mother. That will never change.

Let me tell you a few of the reasons why I think you are terrific:
1- you are wonderful with your little brother, and he loves you so much
2- you can be a very good worker, always doing a good job
3- you are a good student, one of the best, and I never have to worry about your behavior at school or church or anywhere else
4- you are teachable and have gained a lot of gospel knowledge and a testimony—that is so important
5- you are kind to others
6- you try to do what’s right
7- you are sorry when you make bad choices
8- you are smart and beautiful and funny
9- you have amazing potential
10-you are you!

I become so sad inside when I see you make choices that do not lead to happiness because I want you to be full of joy and peace. Remember that we are on the same team; in fact, your dad and I are your biggest cheerleaders, and we will always be here for you, even when you make mistakes. We make lots of mistakes, too. What’s important is that we are always striving to be just a little bit better. I know growing up isn’t easy, so please keep in mind that you can always talk to me about your ups and downs, and everything in between.

I love you so very, very much. You are so important to me. Never forget that.

With Love,

I remember her wrapping her arms around my neck after finding this love note, and I felt such a strong connection with her at that moment. She opened up to me and told me she wanted to do better, and I told her I knew she could.

I think motherhood is full of so many great moments like that--it has more perks than any other job I know. I only wonder why I don't take more advantage of the opportunity to write a few words of encouragement to these amazing children who go out and face the world each day with optimism and courage. If I can just remember, especially at times when my children seem to be least deserving of it, to write to them of my love and remind them sincerely of their goodness, I think I can make a difference in how they view themselves and in how they view our relationship as well. It's definitely worth a try.

So, if it's been a while since you've written a love note and left it on someone's pillow, stop reading and pull out a pencil and notepad. You might just make someone's day!


Unknown said...

Who-hoo!!! First comment to your blog (and you don't even think I read it). You've gotta love the "love notes". I stumbled across one in my scriptures the other day that Zoe wrote me back when we were engaged, and it still brought a smile to my face 9 years later.

Ashlie said...

Great reminder Lori. Tayler is the king of love notes and after he'd written me about 200 one day he turned to me and said, "Mom, when are you ever gonna write me a love note?"

I'm ashamed to say the thought had not yet occurred to me. Bad mom, bad, bad mom.

The Martinez Fam said...

What a wonderful post!! Now that Mylee can read, I'll have to start doing that. I know she would love it!! It was a really touching post. Thanks for sharing it. I always leave your blog wanting to be a better mother.:)