Not that any parents I know are looking for more tasks to accomplish during the holidays, but if there’s any downtime at all, Bob Brody has a suggestion: Jot down a thank you note to your kids.
The man behind the Letters To My Kids Web site is urging parents and grandparents to use Thanksgiving as an excuse to write a letter — long or short, simple or complex — to our children.
Normally, the New York-based essayist encourages parents to share their memories in letters so that younger generations can understand their family histories. This idea tweaks that formula by asking parents to share their current feelings about offspring. It may seem to some (a.k.a. my father) as saccharine, but for the less skeptical a note of thanks might deepen our children’s — and our own experience -- of giving thanks.
All week, Brody has been publishing examples from friends and contributors on his blog. He’s also asking for contributions to post on his Facebook page.
Here are some excerpts of the letters he’s already collected from parents:
“This morning after a fresh snowfall, my 9-year-old son asked me to go sledding with him in our side yard. I had a kitchen to clean, laundry to do, work to catch up on. But he asked me so sweetly and genuinely, I couldn’t say no. Tromping around in the snow, whooping it up as we flew down the hill, seeing his reddened cheeks (and runny nose) filled my heart and made me so grateful to have active kids who remind me to take time out of my day — 20 minutes! — to just *be* with them.”
“They keep my life in perspective.”
“I’m grateful to God for allowing my son Craig to continue his difficult and painful life, but at least he’s here. He is the bravest example of anyone I know.”
“I’m grateful to my son for teaching me the importance of being goofy and letting yourself laugh so hard at stupid YouTube videos you can barely breathe.”
“There’s a lot more laughter in my life because of them.”
Would you write a letter of thanks to your kids? What would you say?