If you have been reading my blog for a while you know that the whole reason I started writing was for my girls, (and my niece and nephew). Quite some time ago it became apparent to me how our memories can play tricks on us. You can take two people from the same family, sit them down and ask them to relay a specific family memory to you and you will get two completely different stories. Two people that were at the same place at the same time and suddenly it's as though they weren't there together at all. It used to happen to me and my mom all the time. It still happens with me and my broher Danny from time to time. It's human nature. We all walk away from a situation having learned/felt/seen something different than the person right next to us.
The other thing our memories can do is be selective. Sometimes we remember a time in our lives where perhaps things were tough and even though during this time we might have experienced a lot of joy and laughter it's hard to remember those times when the sad/stressful times so easily overshadow those happy days.
While I can't change how my girls will remember specific incidences or situations I can help them remember the good times. It is my job to help them remember the good times.
As most of you know the last year or two has been pretty difficult for our family, as it has been for so many countless Americans living through this recession. Sometimes I worry that Allison and Gianna are going to look back on all of it and only remember the tears. Only remember the struggle. I hate that. So I am here today to write to them specifically and give them a place to come back to so that they know that underneath all of this we have had some really good times together. So here it goes, a letter to my sweet daughters.
Dear Allison and Gianna,
Here it is February 15th. Almost exactly 3 months since we made this huge move to the complete other side of the country. I know that it has been hard for both of you. I know that some days the pain of missing your "home" is unbearable. I see it in your faces. I hear it in your voices when you talk to your friends from home. I also know that sometimes I feel the same way. But in spite of all of that pain and sorrow we are getting through this together. Every day that we have spent in Virginia has brought us so much closer together as a family. It has brought the two of you so much closer as sisters. You hang out together more, you are getting along better. It makes me so happy to see it. A while back I wrote a blog post about how I wanted people to see the other side of this, that even though I mostly write about the difficult parts we have so much fun. We are one of the silliest, funniest families I know. We are constantly making up crazy dances for each other and using our country accents on each other.
I keep telling both of you that this time in our life is a great experience. It is difficult at times, their is no doubt about that but at the same time we are getting to experience what it is like to live on the other side of the country, what it's like to live where it snows, to get to know new people, and to live so close to Washington DC and to also be surrounded by so much American History. While these things might not seem like a big deal to you now someday you are going to look back on this and be so glad we did it. Whether we move back to California in a couple years or we move somewhere else, this will have been an experience that we had together. It has made us stronger as individuals and as a family too.
All I want is for you two to look back on this time in our lives not as a sad, or depressing time because you miss your "home" and your friends but as an opportunity. An opportunity to make a new "home" and new friends. Most importantly I want you to remember it as the time in our lives that we took a really bad situation and we made it better. Together as a family. I love you both so much and I am so lucky to have you as my daughters. Between losing grandma and not having made any friends here yet you two have been here to fill in those gaps for me and I will be forever grateful. I have the best two daughters in the world.