Letters For My Baby Girl

The Second Fellowship Book.

Letters for my Baby Girl. “Yes my darling girl. That is you.”

Our last and first book Letters for my little Sister  was written by a  group of women from The Fellowship who created  an extraordinarily honest and powerful anthology of discussions on The Menopause.  It is a very individual and ground breaking piece. A very well received book. A triumph.  And to date it has made enough money for us to write and later print the next Fellowship Book.

Another very important book.baby-girl-4

Letters for my Baby Girl.   I live far away from my daughter.  She is in Melbourne, Australia and I am in Illinois, USA. Often I write emails and messages and texts or talk on my phone to my daughter, but I seldom send real letters. The weight of a letter has increased with all this internet comunication. A letter is forever now, real writing on real paper. A letter needs to say something True and Worthy. It can be folded and stored in a drawer and read many times.  Or it can be collected into a book. Our book.

What if you were to write a letter to be read after you were gone.  For some reason this holds even more value. A letter that passes on what you learned from your own grandmother and  father and mother and aunt and best friend’s mum.  A letter that decanted a little of that wisdom into 1600 words. A letter that can be passed down from woman to girl and woman to girl.

What would you say?

You could write this for your little daughter asleep in the next room or your neice who you see four times a year, or your granddaughter who lives far, far away,  or your neighbour’s daughter who is right next door. Or your teenager who is out with friends you do not trust. Or a beautiful stranger standing on the street in a pink tutu tapping into her I Phone.  Or my own baby girl who is living in a strange city on another continent with no Mum down the road to bounce ideas off over a cup of tea.

What would you write? What is important for her to know?

My mother’s last words to me were ” Don’t cut your hair –  it is your crowning glory”. ( I visited my hairdresser yesterday and confessed to her that I had ‘had a go’ at my hair with the sewing scissors and could she Patch me up. She sighed and said, “Well I guess sewing scissors are better than fingernail scissors” and proceeded to carefully get my hair back  in order. We have a kind of Debbie Harry meets Marilyn Monroe look now.  Perfect (not!) for the Mother of the Groom. But I digress.

My mother’s last words, which were not in a letter,  have left me with a conundrum, I return to them again and again looking for some kind of map, some kind of  code. Some kind of mother’s wisdom.  But I think, in actual fact, she just liked my hair.

Then she said “You and your brother, just  take that box of chocolates home with you. I am tired of watching you eat them  – lying all over my bed.” She was in the hospice.  These were her last hours. Like good children we went home.

There were no clues. But what if she had left a letter? What would she have said?  In the end what is really important?  Freezing the butter before you make the pastry?  Being kind? Allowing women to walk through the door first?  Not listening to the waffling of drunk boys?  No swimming after dark. Look both ways before you cross the road or your boss.  Onions should be sweated not fried.

Once she said to me” children are like horses but be careful they should not be broken.”

She told me that her father (my Pa) used to often jingle a few coins in his pocket  because he went through the depression and every penny counted for him. That this was a sensible thing but a curse all at the same time.

She told me to always sift the flour from a height,  to brush my hair one hundred times at night,( in opposing directions), to never turn your back on a rooster, to fill the emptied tea pot with water and pour the tea leaves in under the hydrangeas, not to trust people whose eyes are too close together or men who wore beards. She told me stories of the old grandmothers scrubbing their doorsteps, and how she hated hairspray.

My grandmother had countless things she told me –  so did  my aunts,  and my godmother and you.baby-girl

Would you like to join me in writing a letter to my baby girl? We could write some of these things down. We could all contribute a letter. There are no real rules except you have about 1600 words. The letter will start as Dear someone or something like that, and signed with the name you choose,  your age and the city or country you are writing from. As you write let us feel where you are writing from, give us a context. The weather, the scents, where you are writing.

You know how I hate rules so that will do. The letter can be written as a poem, or a list or a song. Up to you. You might write a favourite recipe. Or a favourite quote. Or what you think really helps a girl to navigate life.  To laugh at oneself. To give yourself a break. To strive.

It may be 100 words or 1600. Maybe a little more.

Maybe tips to keep a marriage healthy or how to build a tree-house.   Or how your life was yesterday.  Or how to make a really god cup of tea. Or how your great great grandmother arrived in a coach and four or on a boat full of immigrants. Or how they survived an earthquake or  a flood. How to grow a garden –  childbirth from a fathers point of view.  Or not to go to bed on an argument. Dealing with a dangerous relative, or starting a fire with sticks. How to get a child to sleep in a big boys bed. Potty training. Breast feeding tips.

The wonderful thing about this book is that the men can write for it too. Men and women alike,  mothers and fathers, uncles and aunties, grandmothers and grandfathers. How it feels to be father. How to handle a drunk boy. How to stack wood. Reading to your children. How you would like to be treated.  The hazards of thick socks with holes.

What will you write to our baby girl?

I have made a new page for you to register.  It is called Register.  Just note your interest. Write nothing else. Then all our contributions are fresh, personal and un-influenced. When I am back from New Zealand I will email you the instructions on how to deliver your story to me.. you will  have time.. so hurry or don’t hurry whichever you prefer.

You have 1600 words. What will you write in your Letter for my Baby Girl? No! Don’t tell me. WRITE IT IN A LETTER. 

Register in the page above called Register.

Much love,

Your friend on the farm and in the pages,

miss c

 

40 Comments on “Letters For My Baby Girl

  1. I can’t remember when I got a letter from someone the last time. But I do remember how special that feeling was and reading your post I’m really considering putting words on a sheet of paper again!

  2. I don’t have a daughter, but maybe I could do a “what if” … hmm, let me think about it a little. Fabulous idea though! Laura

  3. I have a niece and I absolutely love this idea . I will write the letter. It will take me some time because I’m not good with words and writing .

    • we have lots of time Gerlinde, it will be our winter project! Just write as though you are writing a comment to me, your comments are always lovely!.. c

  4. Reading this brought tears to my eyes. I still hear some very special women’s voices in my memory…and you brought them back to me this morning. There is something so dear about those lingering words. ox

  5. What a wonderful ideaely to be able to write to them! I have three daughters and as I am coming to the last part of my life it would be lovely to be able to write to them in a book. Like you and your daughter , mine live 3000+ miles away in the UK and like you it is just emails(very few), texts and the odd phone call.
    So yes I will register and have a go….

  6. Love your idea! I have been doing something similar since my granddaughter was born – 12 years ago and on the day before my birthday. It is on my computer and I add things from time to time. Have written about my father (her granddad died before she was born) and also things about her mum. Little stories, and some poems. And of course ‘grandmums advice’ on things!
    I will have to put my thinking cap on to add to your lovely book though.

  7. I love this idea, though for me, it will be more of a letter to my younger self… as if snippets of wisdom from this life that I might carry into another life. This book will be a gift to young people – the information we all could have used growing up or we did hear and ignored, but now realize was wise. What a remarkable collection of wisdom this book will be!

  8. I am a letter writer – even very young when we’d wait for the post man with lemonade and hope there would be something. I stopped for a while while working as the letters were long and envelopes designed and decorated for each (it was the 70’s and the art was life). Then the internet (although emails are to be short not long missives we were told – use the phone! No. THoughts in words)
    But I started again a few years ago with so many elderly relatives – who would forget visits and phone calls (if they could even hear those. they guessed and tried to hold conversations). Letters, they held in their hands and could read over and over. And they told everyone they had a letter.
    But now that generation is gone, maybe it’s time for a project like this. Writers of letters. The world needs them

  9. I know you said to send a letter not a comment, but when my Baby Girl was in high school, her Honors English teacher gave an assignment for each parent to write a letter to the child to be opened at some later date. My letter was to be opened upon the birth of her first child. She held on to that letter, took it to the hospital and read it there. She wrote a blog post in which it was referenced http://mommytarymadness.blogspot.com/2013/01/a-birth-story.html. But the letter to her was private and special and I shall keep all that she didn’t share between us.

  10. Oh, I’ll be in! My last one was one of laughs and joy and fun . . . . unfortunately this to two of my daughters I do not see will show the tragedies we can encounter in our lives . . . happy packing dearHeart and hope that daughter of yours has received a letter of mine 🙂 !

      • Happy journeys from eha-mama . . . . my computer has truly gone RS so just hope I can keep up with your travels. My very special computer guru is on holidays and far away till mid next week: so 🙂 !!!!! Fingers crossed with a huge smile on my face even if I am not able to communicate . . .

        • I know you are there eha mama even when the internet is down… and thank you.. and i am thrilled that you are writing your baby girl story for us.. c

  11. How very, very wonderful. When I started to read, I thought “this will be interesting to read but I can’t add to it as I don’t have children of my own” but as I continued to read your words I realised that I have lots of young people in my life and I have lots of wonderful women who have passed their wisdom to me…am very excited about this!

    • absolutely, I am thrilled that you see it that way too.. i don’t think you have to be a mother to be motherly.. and I also think that not having children of your own gives you a perspective on life that we need to share. thank you chica.. c

  12. I have such a great feeling about this , the warmth, the wisdom and wishes will abound ! I had a huge interruption happen with our other book that I was unable to complete my addition until the book arrived with blank pages I can write upon ! This a great idea.

    • I like that idea too, then anyone can write in the book, maybe I needed more blank pages though, you can let me know.. c

  13. This is a fantastic idea for a book. So many times I wished I could call upon such wisdom – privately, objectively – dip into the words of inspiring people of The Fellowship 🙂

  14. What a wonderful circle. I look forward to exploring, sharing and caring with the Sister’s (and bro’s) of The Fellowship. I just ordered “Letter to My Sister”; Cronehood came 10 years early for me and the last two years have been quite a whirl. So I am quite excited to explore the journey’s of those who have walked before me. Much Love and Many Blessings ~ Walela

Welcome to the Lounge of Comments

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: