Posted in Matthew

A Letter to Myself … Things I Hold Most Dear

If you knew that you were going to lose your memory and you could write a letter to yourself that contained the things that you most wanted to remember? What would you write? 

Here’s what I wrote last year…

If My Memory Should Ever Fail Me

If I was gifted the ability to stop time for twenty-four hours, what would I attempt to accomplish?

Without hesitation, I would spend those hours writing a letter to myself in case my memory ever betrays me, a letter I could hold in my hands, something tangible to prove that I had truly lived.

If such a letter could dislodge even a fragment of memory, it would have been worth every moment spent writing it.

I would attempt to capture…

…what it feels like to be loved unconditionally.  I would write about the relationship that I have built with Craig and what it feels like to hold his hand in mine. I would write about the soapy smell of his skin, the feel of his stubble on my cheek, and what it feels like to hear his thoughts as we drift off to sleep each night…what it is to know true contentment.

…how comforting it is to know that a promise for forever is exactly that…to know that I can breathe and just be, without worry.

…what it feels like to have chosen a man who is such an amazing father, who knows such random, yet important, things as how to do Katie’s hair, how to assemble a preschooler-friendly, healthy meal, and how to comfort Matthew when he’s teething.

…how much being a mother to Katie and Matthew fulfills me…that although I am exhausted much of the time, my heart stretches as I close each of their doors at bedtime, knowing that they are safe and happy.

…the way Katie’s gentle golden curls frame her face, how she wakes each morning full of things to say, brimming with excitement, and eager to learn what I have planned for her. I want to remember the way she smells like a mixture of Play-Doh and blueberries and the way she gleefully sings If You’re Happy and You Know It while spinning in circles on tip toes.

…the way Matthew goes limp in my arms at bedtime and how when I shush him and ask him to put his head on my shoulder, he just melts into me.  How he wraps his still baby fingers in my hair and pinches the skin under my arms.

…how it feels when Katie looks me in the eye and says, “You’re so nice, Mommy.” I pray that I remember the way she fits into me right now, how her long arms and legs wrap around me and the way her hair tickles my face when I hold her.

…that Matthew lunges for me when he catches sight of me, the weight of his soft body in my arms as I nurse him.  I long to remember the way he lights up when I do The Itsy Bitsy Spider on his belly…how his impossibly-long eyelashes flutter as he drifts off to sleep.

…that I was not me before them.

…the happiness that this life brought me…from the small things to the big things.  From the moments to weeks to months to years to a lifetime.

..the gratitude that I feel for having been given this opportunity to hold happiness in my hands and that I never took it for granted.  For even one second.

And if my memory does truly fail me, then I would hope that I could at least read this letter and be comforted by the fact that I had been a part of such a family, a family that knew joy and appreciated the smallest of moments.

Fresh Air and Joy

Fresh air, time spent completely off the grid, and the ability to give Craig, Katie, and Matthew my undivided attention brought me tremendous joy this week.

I took no fewer than 4,839 photos in four days of camping, but I’ll go easy on you and just share a handful (okay,a huge handful!).

Matthew, waiting patiently as we set up the campsite…

There’s something about camping that brings Katie a sense of peace…she is so at ease and happy…

Matthew is so in love with his new shoes, he would barely let us take them off…

Why yes, Matthew is wearing Katie’s hand-me-down pajamas. Don’t judge! I looked everywhere for footed fleece jammies and it turns out you can’t find them in August. Go figure. Just focus on the sweet doughnut faces.

Oh, sugar, where have you been all my life?

The best seat in the house…

You really can’t beat three trucks from Target’s dollar aisle…

…unless it’s a balloon on a rubber band. Does anyone remember these? So much fun!

He acts like I never put the camera down or something…

Let the sand throwing commence…

Sand between my toes will forever make me homesick for Maine…

I melt… (note the sand in the corners of his mouth he ate a peck, at least!)

…and I melt some more…

Boundless joy…

Did I mention I melt?

Some of you asked how Katie reacted to all of that sugar she consumed while camping. Here’s your answer…

If you’ve made it this far, thank you so much for peeking!

There is something about camping that soothes our souls and recharges us as a family. So much joy.

Now, it’s your turn! What brought you joy this week? Please share!

Hugs and Joy

Since Katie began preschool, Matthew has been truly feeling her absence.

It started on the first day, when at pickup, he squealed at the sight of her from across the room.

But last night, he ran up to her twice and hugged her with the kind of jubilance that is reserved just for toddlers.

He has always loved her, but this is different…more urgent, somehow.

It’s as though he wants to hold her close so she doesn’t disappear.

There’s something magical about the sight of his chubby arms around her waist and the way she showers the top of his head with kisses.

And it brings me to tears to see that connection between them.

One of my greatest wishes as their mother is for them to have a closeness that weaves them together…a closeness that outlasts me and Craig.

Their connection brings me such tremendous joy.

Okay, your turn!

What brought you joy this week?

Whether it was something small or large, I would so love to hear about it.

I Didn’t Know…

Before my children were born, I dreamed of all of the ways that I would show them love. I knew that I would comfort them, dry their tears, offer encouragement, and be their safe place to land.

What I didn’t know is how they’d offer me those same things in return.

I didn’t know that waiting for Katie would teach me a level of patience beyond anything I could have ever imagined

…that she would help me to learn to trust my gut….

…and that she would stretch my heart beyond all comprehension.

I didn’t know that Matthew would teach me that I don’t always know best

…that he would melt my heart in a way that only a son could

…and that he would help me to grow stronger.

I didn’t know that on days like today, when I was the one with tears, that my babies would comfort me and be my safe place to land.

This parenting thing teaches me something new every day. Oh, how lucky I am to be their mother.

This post is linked up over at Things I Can’t Say.  Thank you, Shell, for encouraging us all to share photos of our babies…this was so lovely.

And speaking of Shell, I am so honored to be her featured BFF today over on Things I Can’t Say. It would mean the world to me if you would stop by. I’m talking about how PBS has corrupted my child and I need your help!

About me

Nichole Beaudry @NicholeBeaudry Location: Northern California
Each and every day, I strive to appreciate the wonder, beauty, and whimsy in the small moments, the moments that, when strung together, form a lifetime.
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