Not too long after Benjamin was born I came across this video [http://bit.ly/kNGhOy]. I think it was around fathers day. Anyway, I loved the idea and immediately set up a Gmail account for our little guy. Since then, Summer and I have been sending him emails with letters, pictures, video, etc…Sometimes we tell him about his day, sometimes we tell him about things that are important to us, sometimes we just say hi. It’s a digital time capsule and we hope it will be interesting to him at some point in his life.
Here is a letter I sent him recently about writing:
I love you SO much! Just wanted to get that said before I started saying other things.
You are an amazing little guy and it is such a joy to be able to watch you grow into your own person.
Writing. I haven’t written you nearly enough. I have years to write you before you will even have a chance to read these, but I still would like to be better about telling you things about yourself as you grow up and about me as I grow up. Note: You are always growing up. All your life experiences add up to make you who you are at any given moment. So it’s never done. You are never fully “grown up”.
Writing. I will let you know that I plan to put emphasis on writing while you’re “growing up”. You will likely grow up in a world of 10 Billion people. With that many people it is hard to have your voice heard. Writing is one of the best possible ways to communicate your ideas. No matter what you choose to do with your life, no matter what interest or field of endeavor you decide to spend your time on. Learning to write well, to communicate well, will help you beyond measure.
I once read in a Stephen King book about writing that “writing is the closest thing we have to telepathy”. One mind speaking directly to another across time and space. Writing is an art and words have power. The right words in the right order and at the right time, stronger still.
Writing causes you to organize your thoughts, arguments, ideas. I’m attempting to do this now. You can learn a great deal about yourself from writing. Sometimes until you truly spend time explaining why you feel a certain way (even if just to yourself) you won’t understand the reason. Knowing why you believe what you believe is important. You may start out a writing project believing one thing, and finish convinced of another. When writing stories you may be surprised to find characters and themes that draw themselves out on the page. Characters you never expected to meet can assume critical roles. This happens in life as well but that is for another email.
Before this gets too wordy (I do that, explain too much. I’m sure you’ve probably noticed by now. My father did it too.) I will summarize with this final thought. You are now almost 15 months old. You are sleeping soundly in your crib upstairs. It’s well past midnight and because of writing I’m able to send my thoughts to you through time and space. You will be different when you read them and so will I, but you’ll always know your Daddy was up late talking to you before you could speak, because he loves you. (sappy ending but true).