Leaving Little Love Letters

mother's love notes,

Image: Ebineyland

My mother regularly wrote little love letters to her children.  They started appearing on our pillows when we could first read, at least one every month or so. Sometimes her notes would reference something we did or said but mostly they simply gushed with affirmation. Her standard ran along the lines of, “You are the nicest, most wonderful seven-year-old in the whole world.”

Her one or two sentence notes were usually written on a scrap of paper. My mother made “scratch” paper out of junk mail and school fliers. She tore paper on the fold lines, getting three pieces out of a standard letter-sized sheet. This made the flip side of her little love letters unintentionally quirky, with references to bank policy or reminders about choir practice. My brother and sister got their own notes but we never mentioned them to each other. They were a private and cherished connection between mother and child.

By the time I was nine or ten years old I wrote little love letters to her too, hiding my notes in her shoe or tucked into her jewelry box. It was easy to tell when she’d found one. She’d dole out a big hug and whisper a line I’d written back to me.  It seems these notes meant as much to her as they did to me. After she died I ran across some of them stuffed into her favorite cookbook, effusive words penciled in my best handwriting.

I know all too well that family life sometimes scrapes us like sandpaper against those closest to us. We don’t talk enough about what amuses or delights us because we’re busy saying that the towels aren’t hung up, shoes are blocking the door, and food is left out on the counter. We may also be dealing with doubts kindled by worry and annoyances that can spark into anger.

Sure, we linger over tender moments that we wish could last forever. We praise the effort (as all those relationship experts tell us to do). But there’s something special when we take the time to write down our very best feelings for one another.  A note is a tangible expression unlike any other.

I won’t kid myself that I’ll ever write as many tiny love letters as my mother wrote in her life. But today I’ll be writing a few sentences to my loved ones and hiding those notes where they’ll find them. I know there’s a sense of completion when we say what’s in our hearts.

About Laura Grace Weldon

Laura Grace Weldon is a writer and editor, perhaps due to an English professor's scathing denunciation of her writing as "curious verbiage." She's the author of "Free Range Learning," a handbook of natural learning and "Tending," a poetry collection. (lauragraceweldon.com) She's working on her next book, "Subversive Cooking" (subversivecooking.com). She lives on Bit of Earth Farm where she is a barely useful farm wench. Although she has deadlines to meet she often wanders from the computer to preach hope, snort with laughter, cook subversively, talk to chickens and cows, discuss life’s deeper meaning with her surprisingly tolerant offspring, sing to bees, hide in books, walk dogs, concoct tinctures, watch foreign films, and make messy art.
This entry was posted in attention, family, gratitude, memoir, memory, mothering, parenting, selfhood, writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Leaving Little Love Letters

  1. heather krcha says:

    thank you thank you thank you. i needed this today. xo


    Heather Krcha 816.806.5106



  2. Bernie DeKoven says:

    So lovely. And loving. Such a gift you are to your mother and children and those fortunate enough to share the wonder with you.


  3. Gonna start a letter to my mom… it was very nice


  4. What a beautiful memory of your mom! She must have been a real treasure …
    Thanks for sharing, because it is encouraging me to write a few notes to the kids I have the joy of living with and loving, as well as to my mother.


  5. Craig & Beverly Fawcett says:

    Ok, can leave such a note any time on my pillow Ahhh More like my book when left unattended at panera

    (you are one impressive lady and mom!!!!!!!! And your mom, geeeeze, I so miss mine)

    One lovely day!

    Chores outside, now, can I get up from the computer chair?

    Blessings, c

    On 5/8/14 11:35 AM, “Laura Grace Weldon” wrote:

    > Laura Grace Weldon posted: ” My mother regularly wrote little love letters to > her children.  They started appearing on our pillows when we could first read, > at least one every month or so. Sometimes her notes would reference something > we did or said, but mostly they simply gushed” >


  6. Kelli says:

    Thankyou for sharing such a gorgeous idea :)


  7. Maggie Pill says:

    What a great post, and what a great mom you had!


  8. Grace says:

    I love this. Thank you for the reminder to plant little seeds of love where my family will find them.


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