When F started preschool in February, they asked for items to add to their disaster kit. They wanted a gallon of water, an extra blanket and a note to soothe F in case of a disaster. The thought of writing the note was simply too much for me. I hadn’t given them the letter (as I was supposed to) until now. Here it is. Writing it today feels as if I’m trying to lift up part of the sky.
I’ve never written something I didn’t want someone to read. I hope he never reads this:
When you were just learning to talk, you used to say “kokay” instead of “okay.” I really liked it. That extra “K” at the beginning of the word was all yours. You came up with it and continued it until you were almost 2½ years old. It was funny and adorable; you were the only little boy in the world I know who said it like that. In a whole school of children, I could have heard your “kokay” from across the room. Any room.
Today you say “okay” when you know you are. Say it now, F. You’re okay.
Today is a funny day, but we are with you. Next to you, holding your hand, whispering into your right ear and squeezing your finger tips. Nose to nose. You may not see me right now, but I’m with you. Just like the Llama Llama book says, even when I feel far from you, Mama is always near.
Mommy and Daddy will be with you soon. We’ll smile, hug you, and squeeze you tight. We’ll continue on this marvelous journey with you until we’re at the edge of the sun. We’ll travel to the blue sky, watch red sunsets and dance under a bright yellow sun. We’ll climb to the white tops of the mountains. You and O and Daddy and Mommy will have so many more journeys. You’re going to have to hold on tight!
Be a brave boy until we see you. Help your friends. Listen to your teachers. Give big hugs. Be kind and sweet.
I know you’ll be kokay.
We love you more than the moon, the sun, and all the water in the ocean. See you soon, Lovie.
Love, love, love, Mommy & Daddy
Thank you for sharing this love letter, it has moved me to tears. I love my daughter’s “kokay’s”, it kind of feels like my families first secret, just between us you know? I have started a family tree with pictures for my daughter and am going to build a box for her containing “treasures” to help her understand what I have come to know in my 30-some years, I think a love letter would be a good addition to it.
Wow…My eyes are filled with tears…good tears..happy that you found the courage to write something that will really help you’re son to get through anything. I am a Kindergarten teacher and part of a group to put a disaster kit together… I am going to include the idea of a note to soothe their child in case of a disaster. Thank- you so much for sharing this idea.
Bruce Sallan says
We all hope our kids never have to read these letters. Sweet post and very heartfelt. I remember when my son, now 6’3″, used to call a Toyota – “Tow-tow-ta” – or when he called Best Buy, “BesperBuy”. Cherish those memories ’cause it all goes by too fast, just like the cliche says!
mona @ kirida dot com says
This letter is so sweet and touching and I hope it never has to be read.
Well, I hope that he never has to read it as a child. But save it for him as an adult, because he will treasure it then.
My daughter is currently attending preschool and when I had to write that similar letter, I was so unsure of how to do it. It brought me to tears to imagine such a situation. But I gathered the courage and wrote a letter that was loving and hopeful and comforting. May no child ever have to read such a letter. Thanks for sharing!
Wow! That letter is amazing. It takes a strong knowledge of your child and what will soothe them to write something so touching. I hope F never has to read it, but I agree with Katie – save it for him as an adult.
I’m totally in tears! And I’m at work so my colleagues may think I’m a total dork…LOL!
It was a great letter! Thanks for sharing. If I were to ask to write something like this, I would have a hard time doing so knowing the circumstance my daughter would be reading it.
On the practical note, it’s a great idea for kids to have something like this in their cubie in case of disaster. I’m gonna suggest it to my daughter’s preschool.
Oh, this post makes me cry.
First of all for the concept of the Disaster Kit with note. Coming from Norway it seems like a very pessimistic thing to have to plan for. But I guess it makes sense.
The second thing that makes me cry is that it made me think of the shootings at Utøya Island in Norway in July. I’m sure a lot of the young people there would have been comforted wiith similar notes, even though they were in their late teens or early twenties.
As Disaster kits and notes aren’t used here, I think I’ll never have to write one. But it has started me thinking about writing a secret note to my son, for him to have it something should happen to me.
I’m so glad I was never asked to write that letter. You did an outstanding job with yours. I’m sure your boys will be great leaders of their classmates knowing how much love and safety they have at home. And I’m relieved my boys are old enough now that I can have a little more confidence that they know I will be with them the very SECOND I can be in an emergency. Small comforts mean a lot. Thank you for your letter. It’s lovely.
Wendy Sue Swanson, MD says
Thanks, all. Oddly timed re-posting of this blog post with the earthquake out East and then the hurricane. I’m soon going to need to write one to O, too as he’s starting preschool this fall. Best of luck to us all in getting these done!
Oh, Dr. Swanson.
I wrote my own letter today. I came back here, to read yours as a reference point. I had so much to say, but then I found my hands stilled at the keyboard when I went to write it.
What can one truly put into words that will bring comfort to a child that truly needs his mommy and daddy? What can one type that won’t scare them or make them feel worse than they already do?
I didn’t copy yours, especially since so much of it was specific to your sweet boy, but it was helpful to strike the tone and balance.
So, thank you for posting it here for reference.
Crystal Scott says
That was beautiful so touching and me myself lord knows im having the most difficult time trying to complete this task aswell…. Something i never want to deal with …But i know i must put this pen to this paper and do it so jus in case my boy has it iif this time ever shall come ….