Tuesday, October 19, 2010

10 Years Ago ....

Back at the end of 1999 my wife and I lived in town, in a small one bedroom apartment. We were expecting our first child while actively looking to buy a home where we would be happy to raise our future children. We were eager to share our lives and dreams with our children but we would have to wait a few more months until we actually became parents.

We had so much to share, however, that we simply couldn't wait ... so we decided to write our future kids a letter that described our lives without them and gave them a glimpse into the type of home we hoped to provide for them in the future. We addressed the letter to "Baby" and mailed it to our apartment. Once delivered, the letter quickly went into our memory box and there it stayed, sealed, for over ten years.

We've been waiting for the right moment to give the kids the letter and over this past weekend that moment finally arrived. During dinner, on Saturday night, we were talking about all the work that needs to be done around the house before the snow arrives. It was then that Michael asked us the simple question "Why did you pick this house to live in anyway?". Instantly I thought ... this is the moment ... they're ready to read the letter! I told them that Mom and Dad had answered that very question 10 years ago .... before we even bought this house. That peaked their interest so we quickly dug out the letter and opened it up to read to the kids.

We found two notes in the envelop, one written by me before we bought our house and one written by my wife, after we bought the house.

In my note I spoke of the upcoming Y2K scare, the price of gas, and where we both worked at that time. When it came to our future home I simply said "We are looking for a house but we haven't found anything we like yet. Right now we would like a country property with about 5 acres or more with a pond and a fireplace. We'll have to wait and see what turns up."

In my wife's note, written two months after mine, she describes the home we bought by saying "It will be the only home you know for many years to come. It has two ponds, a fireplace, a double garage and 4.5 acres of land. It will be perfect for you and your future siblings to run around and grow up. You'll love it! We take possession of the house 8 days before your due date. It will be a very busy time :)"

All three of our children were born in this very house, with Michael being the first, born exactly one week after we moved in. They are growing up with lots of space to explore and with many wildlife creatures to learn about. We wanted them to be connected to the house and to the property where they live and I believe we've accomplished that.

I also believe that now is a good time to write another letter to our future selves, this time as a family. I would like the kids to write a letter in their own words and describe what it's like growing up in our family and how they want to live their lives in the future. I think they'll appreciate looking back and reading the letters in 10 years time, just as we have enjoyed looking back to the year 1999.

It's a great family bonding experience .... why don't you give it a try too?

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