Thursday, September 13, 2012

An Open Letter to Those Who Love My Child

Dear Loved Ones,

     I am almost hesitant to pen this out of fear of seeming ungrateful. Please be assured that is not the case, and I also do not wish to offend or alienate anyone. This is just how I feel about the childhood I want my daughter to enjoy.
     I know baby toys are cute, and baby clothes are immeasurably cuter, but these things in general are fleeting. Babies outgrow clothes every week, and toys are only good until they are no longer developmentally appropriate. I know my little monkey is only four months old, but soon she will be old enough to enjoy experiences. And ask your children how many of their toys were important enough to remember. There are very few in my memory.
     What I remember are trips to Skate Mania, Uncle Donald's Farm and Silver Springs. I remember sleepless nights before going to Disney World and getting to see NSYNC live. Some of my favorite memories don't involve things at all, but spending time with people I love. Even if we weren't doing anything special. Even if we sat around the dinner table long after it had been cleared and just talked (but especially if we were also playing Scrabble or Checkers or War.)
     That is the childhood I want for my daughter. I want her life to be full of experiences, not objects. If you love her, please spend time with her. In our home, money and objects do not equal love and they do not come for free. They must be earned. I'll spare you my "that's what's wrong with the world today" speech and give you the Cliff Notes: I do not want my child to ever anticipate, expect, or even worse, be led to believe that she is entitled to a gift. Instead, shower her with experiences that will become wonderful memories.
     If you are unable to spend time with us, and you'd like to show your love in some other way, books and learning toys are always welcome as are cards and phone calls just to say hi. Thank you for respecting my wishes, and most of all, thank you for loving my child.



  1. Great letter! I know that my children cherish the moments that they spend with their loved ones. They'll talk about what they DID with Grandma, Grandpa, Nana, Papa, and other friends and family that live far or near - before they identify objects that were purchased for them from those loving folks. Well said!

  2. This letter is filled with so many important points. So often, it is too easy to just give a gift versus take the time to give a child a memory.