This morning I went into my bathroom and saw a piece of notebook paper folded in half with “To Mom and Dad” written on the outside. I opened it to find a beautiful letter from our 13-year-old middle daughter. It was a thank-you letter that took my breath away and brought tears to my eyes. We’ve received a few similar letters over the years, from the same daughter as well as from a couple of the other kids, and it’s always so uplifting to hear words of appreciation from a child.
My husband and I often say, “Parenting isn’t for wimps,” referring to the harder parts of parenting: the tough decisions we have to make, the rules that must be enforced, the ups and downs of children’s and teens’ attitudes and tempers. When we first decided to become parents I don’t think we had any idea how encompassing that role would be, what a major effect it would have on all other areas of our lives. We didn’t make the decision lightly and we knew that a child would be a huge responsibility, but the absolute intensity of that responsibility we couldn’t understand. Now, with more than twenty-five years of parenting experience behind me, I fully understand, and sometimes lament, the reality of that responsibility. Parenting is a tough job, but like any tough job, it has its rewards and I received one of those rewards this morning in the form of a letter, written in pencil on a piece of notebook paper; written directly from the heart of a child.