41. You’ve Got Mail

A while ago, back when Target still existed in Canada, I found these adorable little mailboxes in the dollar section.

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My daughter’s is pink, and I found a white one for my son.  Initially I used them for their intended purpose – so they could receive valentines cards from me on Valentines day.  But they never got put away after that Valentines day.  So that March Break, I used them each night to put in a note about what we would be doing the next day.  And as time went on, I would put little notes in them, or even little treats.  And of course, if we’re doing to be doing something special that I’ve managed to keep as a surprise for them, well they often find out by way of a note in their mailbox.  I also like to use these mailboxes as a way of reminding them how proud I am of them if they’ve done something really special, or been particularly brave.  Somehow, they seem to take my words that much more to heart when I’ve taken the time to write them out in the form of a little note.

As a mom, there are lots of things you love to hear from your kids – like the sound of their laughter or the sound of siblings playing happily together.  Well, I also LOVE to hear when one of my kids realizes they have mail.  There is nothing better than the shriek of “We got mail”.  (Which is usually followed by the pounding of small feet down the stairs and a mad rush to find the other child so they can both discover what mail they received together).

This weekend I’ve bitten the bullet and I’m taking a little trip with 2 girlfriends.  We’ve picked a destination that is far enough away that we won’t feel compelled to come home if one of our kids gets sick, but close enough that we can maximize our time away.  This will be the first time I’ve ever left the kids for more than an overnight (aside from my hospital stays).  As I dropped the kids off at school this morning, they were both a bit anxious about the whole thing and neither one quite knew what to make of it.

Cue the mommy guilt.

So, in an effort to remind them that they are always on my mind, as soon as this post gets published, I’ll be writing a few little notes for my little ones to put in their mailboxes.  While I won’t be around to hear their squeals of excitement when they find that they have mail, just knowing how they’ll react is enough to assuage this mom’s guilt for taking a little time to herself.

Wishing you all a most wonderful weekend!!!  And hoping that you find the joy in leaving some little notes for your loved ones, whether or not you’re going to be with them this weekend.

Love Notes & Intentional Gratitude (or how I was Inspired by Chanel)

There is a lovely little-known tradition in Chanel stores around the world; if a man purchases the classic Chanel handbag for the woman in his life, he is asked to write a love note to her.  For on the inside of the front flap of the bag, there is a little zippered pocket, put there by Coco herself, for the express purpose of hiding love notes.

I was lucky enough one Christmas a few years ago to receive one of these purses from the Husband (it was December 24th, he hadn’t purchased my gift, he’d known I’d always wanted one, it was the first Christmas post tumour and we were in a celebratory mood . . .).  Anyway, as I unwrapped the gift, and realized what he had done, the first thing I did was to look for the love note.  As I unzipped the little pocket, there it was, on a small piece of white paper . . . a lovely little declaration of his love for me.  And every time I use that purse, I am reminded of the little note that’s there and I feel, well, I feel loved.

So, a year ago, I was inspired by something I read to write love notes to the Husband and the kids each day for a month.  I thought it would be an awesome way to show the three of them just how much I love them.  The first day was easy.  The second, wasn’t so bad either.  By the 3rd, it was starting to get challenging.  And by the 4th, I had reduced my goal to just getting through the week of my challenge.

That is not to say that I don’t have an infinite amount of love for the Husband and the kids.  But rather, it’s hard to put pen to paper to describe these feelings – or in other words, to put the intention behind this kind of all-encompassing gratitude that I have for them.

As I continue to work with this idea of pairing my gratitude with intention, I think I will try this love notes experiment again.  Perhaps I won’t be as lofty with my goals . . . perhaps I will try a challenge like the one I ready on the Art of Manliness blog (this is an awesome post, by the way) because one note a week seems infinitely more do-able . . . perhaps I will rotate who gets the notes each week . . .but regardless of how I end up carrying out this project, it is already making me smile.  Because I know much those few words on a scrap of paper hidden in the inside of a purse can make me feel . . . and I want to give the three most important people in my life that feeling too.

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