Tuesday, July 8, 2014

A Virtual Letter in a Bottle

A while back, a post circulated on my Facebook newsfeed with the idea of setting up email addresses for your kids to have access to when they are older for the primary purpose that you, the parent, can send them messages for them to receive at a later date. 

I thought the idea was a great one. Some commented with concern that email may be obsolete when you decide to share it years down the road. I've had an AOL email address since 1996, so I am of the mindset that if AOL isn't obsolete by now, Yahoo should be good to go in another 20 years.
Because I feel so scattered brained at times, I decided this email to my kids was the way to go for me. There are things that happen throughout our lives that make me laugh out loud and things that touch me to the core, that they may not appreciate now, but will one day. And there are family stories to be shared that, let's face it, I'm going to forget unless I write that shit down. Not to overlook the bigger factor; that of losing my father when I was just 20 years old. I feel like he was a vault of information, family stories, life's lessons, and random slap stick humor. I feel gypped as I was too young and immature to absorb a lot of his wisdom. I was still of the "I already know it all" stage of life and I regret not asking more questions, paying more attention, and taking more interest in my family background. It goes without saying that I miss his presence and his wisdom every single day.

So, thanks to some random thing in my Facebook newsfeed months ago, I created email addresses for each of my boys and I began writing them. Some emails are to all 4 of them. Some are individual. Some emails have old digital pictures attached that I worry they may not have access to down the road; baby pictures of them, school pics, and pictures of me when I was skinny. You know, important stuff. I have an external harddrive with those saved just in case. When I get really ambitious, I'm going to scan in pictures from their grandparents families with who is who. While you're all now thinking "BORING!", they may appreciate that information one day if nothing more than when they're debating on cool baby names with their wives. Praying they don't name a girl after their great grandmother though. Ida Mann would not bode well in middle school. 

My messages to them are random. They can be practical, informative, funny or emotional depending on my mood that day. (scary) Just recently I sent a picture of us taken at Disney in an email with a recap of our trip in the hopes that years down the road, the boys will open the email and belly laugh reminiscing about the memories we made on our trip. I've never been a scrapbooking mom. To me, this is the second best thing minus access to the cool scissors. I have shared my own life's lessons, and advice in general, a lot of which I have already told them, but remember they are ages 11 to 20. They still "know it all". The advice my daddy gave me as an 18 year old, I wish I had received again at 30 when I had my feet on the ground and my head out of the clouds.

Email addresses and passwords will remain in an envelope in a place that they will never look; my feminine product drawer. OR behind the cleaning supplies. OR the crisper drawer of the fridge. I can't remember the last time they made themselves a salad. Actually I'm not telling, but those are great ideas for hiding places (from boys) if you so need them. 

You're welcome.

Let's be clear, I STILL plan to be around when they're 30, 40, 50....60 may be pushing it. While I am still of sound mind with many stories to tell, I wanted to do this. I plan to be sharp and witty decades from now, but my plan may vary from God's. In that event, I have something in place to ensure my kids have a piece of me long after I have moved on to hang with the Big Blogger in the Sky. And my presence, although virtual, will be with my kids in some form.

Until they hit Delete which is of high probability.

*Note: with Yahoo mail, the account goes inactive within 90 days unless logged in. So once a month, I log in their accounts to filter out any SPAM mail if needed and to keep it active.