DO SOMETHING IMPERFECTLY
When I was pregnant with Avi, I spent a lot of time on Pinterest. I found so many cute things that I wanted to remember and implement when he was born. There were adorable nurseries, great gear, tips for saving mementos and creative ways to mark and remember special moments. One that stuck with me was the idea of letter writing. A blogger had suggested writing a letter to your child for every birthday. The letter could say anything, but the idea was that you would save these letters and give them to your child on his 18th birthday. As a writer and as a sentimental mush, I was taken by this idea.
Over Avi’s first year, I thought about this letter a lot. How would I convey this special year to him? Would he even read it? Would he care? More questions arose when I started to blog - how would this letter be different? Would he actually be sick of reading my writing? Would be be embarrassed?
Avi’s first birthday loomed and I thought more and more about this letter, unable to write it. I felt overwhelmed by the task I had assigned myself. I pictured an 18 year old Avi and felt like this had to be perfect. About a week before his birthday, I wrote a paragraph, closed my computer, and didn’t return to it.
His birthday came and went and I felt some remorse that my letter was never written. And as the weeks passed on, I told myself that it was too late. His birthday had passed and I had failed right at the very beginning. I pushed it out of my mind and really didn’t think about it. Until today.
As I write this, I’m sitting on an airplane, on my way to Israel. My little guy and my big guy are at home and although I’ve only been gone a few hours, I miss them terribly. I had a list of ‘to-dos’ for the plane ride to keep me busy, but of course the wifi on the plan isn’t working. I opened my laptop to see what documents I have available offline in my GoogleDrive. Lo and behold, there was the letter.
So I opened the letter and I finished it. I won’t publish its contents here - that letter is for Avi alone. When I get home, I’ll print it and seal it in an envelope, to be opened in 17 years. I can assure you that it’s not perfect and it definitely doesn’t cover everything. As hard as I tried, I’m sure it won’t convey what that first year of motherhood was really like - because no writing can. You have to live it and breathe it to really understand it. But I finished the letter anyway. I tried my best to tell Avi about his first year. Where we lived and what we did. Where we went and who we saw. How we danced in the kitchen to Disney music and the joy of his first steps. It isn’t perfect, but it’s entirely real. And actually, that’s better than perfect.