I already know what my daughters’ eighteenth birthday presents will be

I’ve decided to write a letter to both of my daughters on their birthdays and collect notes every year from each of their teachers

I read recently about a father who has been writing a handwritten letter to each of his children on their birthday’s throughout their lives. He doesn’t give the letters to his kids though; he’s saving them all and is going to hand them all over in one go at a meaningful time when they’re older.

Another inspirational idea I came across some months back was a mother who, at the end of every school year, gathers notes from each of her children’s teachers. She asks them to write something meaningful, insightful, and encouraging from their experience of teaching her children that year. As with the father writing his birthday letters, she too intends to collate all these and hand them all over to her kids when they finish school.

I love both of these ideas. Sometimes you come across an idea, think it’s great, but a day or so later you’ve completely forgotten about it. With both of these ideas though, they’ve stayed with me. They’ve kept nagging away in my mind, nudging me to make sure I don’t let them slip away.

And so I’ve decided that I’m definitely going to start doing this. My youngest daughter, Imogen, turns two on Friday, and I intend to write my first of these letters then. My eldest daughter, Eloise, finishes her first year at school in July and I’m going to make sure her teacher writes something in a special book I’m going to get.

Though I don’t know for sure what the end result of all this will be, it feels like there’s a very good chance it will be a positive experience for both my girls. Who knows what encouragement and perspective they’ll need when they’re older. These letters and notes may just well provide some insight and inspiration just when they need it.

I certainly hope so. And I think it will make for a fabulous eighteenth birthday present.

First published at samradford.com.

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