Dear Kids,

You’ve been on my mind a lot lately. In fact, it seems you are on my mind all the time, given that one of the three of you, or all three at once, pop into my thoughts at least once each day. Admittedly, once would be a slow day. This past week, the first time ever that you are all away for an extended amount of time — each in a different country, to be specific— dad and I did all kinds of things that we would have done with you, if you were here. And you popped into my mind, over and over each day. It was so strange to not have you there, and yet, dad and I got a brief glimpse of what it will be like when we will soon be home without any of you here.

Principessa would love this place, I found myself thinking. Or, Middle Man would be so tempted to jump over that log, and see if he could balance on that rock. He’s so daring. When we went kayaking and there were seals swimming around us, I knew that Little Man would be so excited. You all would love the hikes, through old growth woods; you’d appreciate the eagles, seals and beaver we saw; you would love jumping in the cold, salty water with us, and swimming out to the giant rock. I’m so glad you’re people who love to be in the wilderness. I always think of you there. A given song on the radio; a food ordered at a restaurant; the view of the water through the forest; the meteors as we watched the Persieds two different nights, from the waters edge (remember all the nights we slept on our deck, oohing and ahhing as the “shooting stars” sped past us? There’s a satellite, one of you always said)… so many things made me think of each of you. Every day.

And that thought really got in my head. I have been a mother now for four years less than I was without you, but you three are such a part of me, that I can’t imagine me, without you anymore. Of course, I have my own identity, and I don’t see myself as only a mother (believe it or not); but, being your mother touches every part of who I am now. I tried to imagine a day when one of you wont enter my thoughts, let alone all three of you, and I couldn’t envision it. Thoughts of you are like breaths I take, effortless and natural. Your faces are in my head, and I see you when I do the things that are part of any given day. And I smile. Or think. Or wonder. Or miss.

I wonder how you are, and what you are doing. I wonder if you are glancing up at the sky, as I am— even though I know that each of you is looking at a night sky, when I look at the sun, and sun when I study the stars. I wonder if you are happy with your lives, and excited for the many adventures ahead of you? I think about the things we’ve done together, and the things I still want to do. I think about the ways I fell short as a mother, and the ways I shined. Both come to mind a lot lately, as each of you sets out in the world and my time to parent you has become more limited. I miss the times when we went to amazing places together; the time you surprised me, blind folded me, and took me to Deception Pass for Mother’s Day (one of my favorite places); skiing, camping, and hiking together; the dinners, and pancakes, and movies with popcorn. I still think of the day each of you was born, with crystal clarity, and a spontaneity that catches me off guard sometimes. I smile, and catch my breath, at the passing of time. I miss each of you. Who you were, who you are now. I miss you.

So this week I was really thinking about how much I think of you all, and what that says about me, about us as a family, about being a mother. I don’t imagine that you think of me nearly as much, but I’m ok with that. I didn’t think about my mother either. I didn’t even wonder if my Mom was thinking about me, most of the time. Nor did I imagine that some day I would think as much about any one, as I do about you guys. Maybe when you’ve each been gone long enough I’ll have gaps in my thoughts. Maybe a day might go by, and my thoughts wont land on one of you, and the next day I’ll find myself thinking “Oh, I wonder how Principessa, or Middle Man, or Little Man is.”  Maybe.

But today, I wanted each of you to know that I love you. I miss you. I’m thinking of you.

Love,  Mom

Note: This post is part of The Daily Post; the prompt is: An Open Letter. Check out others here, at The Daily Post.

I remember this day. When you were little and school was pretty much the only place you went without me.

I remember this day. When you were little and school was pretty much the only place you went without me.

About Dawn Quyle Landau

Mother, Writer, treasure hunter, aging red head, and sushi lover. This is my view on life, "Straight up, with a twist––" because life is too short to be subtle! Featured blogger for Huffington Post, and followed on Twitter by LeBron James– for reasons beyond my comprehension.
This entry was posted in Aging, Awareness, Blog, Blogging, Daily Observations, Life, Mothers, Musings, My world, Parenting, Personal change, Tales From the Motherland, Teenagers, Women, Women's issues, Writing. Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to Dear Kids,

  1. Mike Lince says:

    ‘Maybe when you’ve each been gone long enough I’ll have gaps in my thoughts’… Perhaps, but I do not think so.
    I think of my daughters every day, too. At times the excitement of travel is a diversion from missing my children, and my grandchildren even more so. I sometimes envy their other grandparents who live so close and are intimately connected to the lives of my daughter and grandsons. Nevertheless, I would not trade places with them. Perhaps it is simply a part of life to miss our children more than they miss us.


    • I don’t think they are meant to miss us… when they become parents, themselves, they may better understand how we feel… but they will think about their own kids, not their parents. I’ve really been wondering about this though. It’s comforting to hear that you, too think of your kids daily. Thanks for sharing, Mike.


  2. Anonymous says:

    My husband and I are planning a 25th anniversary trip together…and as we go through our dream list of exciting places to explore..we keep thinking, “Don’t we want to go to that place with the kids” or “Wouldn’t our youngest be disappointed if we went there without him?” It is the beginning of a different adventure…life with children that are off on adventures of their own.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts….so true, so true.


    • Ha! I totally hear you. We ended up missing our 25th anniversary trip (which I’d been planning for 25 years) because we just couldn’t make it happen that year, with our kids and two exchange students. We’re still thinking about it… but we do the same thing: “That’s somewhere we want to go as a family,” etc. Hope you take that trip and enjoy it! Thanks so much for stopping by TFTM. I hope you’ll keep visiting. 🙂


  3. As I’m in the midst of packing L’s duffle bags, doing laundry and all sorts of errands, for her departure tomorrow, I am feeling this big time. Our kids have never been homebodies; and for each of them once they graduated high school, they were done with living at home. I miss those teenage/high school years with all the rushing about to activities, friends dropping by at all hours, helping themselves to food, etc. We also do many of the same activities we used to do as a family. Some the kids still enjoy (and the boys will do with their families) and others they don’t do anymore. Nice letter, I’m sure your kids appreciate it.


    • Thanks Lisa. I’ve been thinking about you, knowing L’s departure was close at hand… and how hard that is for you. I hope you get through the next few weeks as easily as possible. Time to spend a lot more time with grand kids! 🙂


  4. Cathy Ulrich says:

    I would suspect that they do think of you every day. A connection like this one does go both ways, Dawn. And the love is palpable. It reminds me of my connection to my own mother, even though she has been gone from this earth for almost seven years. Beautiful…


    • Thanks Cathy! That is so sweet. I think that one day, they will think of me more often… but I have a hunch, that at this stage of their lives, it is less often. I found that my mother became much more frequent in my thoughts, as she aged, and then when she was gone. The missing is harder then… Thanks so much for your thoughts. Really kind, and much appreciated.


  5. susanissima says:

    This is such an important and touching post, Dawn. In our culture, the absence of our children seems to be ubiquitous. Today, as I play with my little grandson while my daughter and her hubster pack for their move to Alaska, I realize that this is the last week we will ever be together in her home in Seattle. On Saturday, they’ll sail north on the Alaskan ferry and then, like with my son in Taipei, being together will require plane rides and Skype-ing, and will involve the daily longing that you so beautifully describe in this post. Yes, we have our own lives and identities, but for many of us blessed with children, like you, that love we feel when we think of our kids, will always remain the sun around which we orbit.


    • Gorgeous words Susan, as always. I was thinking of you yesterday, and teared up… knowing this difficult goodbye was here. That plane ride really makes it all seem so much further, n’est cest pas? When I board a plane to almost anywhere else, I am excited… when I board a plane to visit my girl, I am keenly aware of just how many hours it takes to reach her. The return flight, is almost unbearable. And yet, we are happy that they have grown into the kind of people who embrace such adventure and the journey. Thanks so much for your words, they mean a lot. xo


  6. When I read about kids being grown up and out of the house, it seems so very far away. And then, in the next moment, I put myself there and want to savor all the time I have left, until that time.


  7. The Waiting says:

    Dawn, this absolutely took my breath away. Stunningly beautiful. Your kids are very lucky to have you.


  8. Pingback: An open letter to my nomad children. | 3rdculturechildren

  9. Thank you very much for stopping by our family blog – much appreciated! It’s wonderful to find other parents who share the same passion about raising their children. Parenting is definitely a wonderful journey! Greetings from La Paz, Bolivia.


  10. nmark says:

    What a sweet and touching message!


  11. Anonymous says:

    Dawn…I love you. You are saying all the stuff we all feel. I will be thinking of my kids forever. They are my babes. I’m in the huge letting go stage. And I too feel like I want to experience all those amazing things with my kids from the meteor shower to the heights of the Himalayas. I’m feeling almost frantic to do all these experiences with my kids…I could at this point pack up and travel if it weren’t for my kids. I know we have set the tone for beyond explores in other countries… I crave more of them and time. Time and money. Damm. Money kinda gets ya.


    • Thanks so much, “someone.” It’s a huge balancing game, to figure out how to back away from the frantic— that is so easy to be swallowed by, and embrace the letting go. I am finding that there are parts of letting go, that open new doors. And then, there is just a level of letting go, that isn’t ever going to be easy. Time and money… never easy. Thanks so much for taking the time to share your thoughts, and read this post. Much appreciated.


  12. Pingback: Dear Kids, | LAB


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