A while back I scanned some of Bella’s awesome letters — tattle telling quandaries and Mom-and-Dad billet-douxs, mostly. In a scavenger hunt through Photobucket tonight, I rediscovered a few of those.
The urgent letter to the Principal of W.T. Hanes Elementary:
If I had to pick a favorite, the letter to Mrs. Blevins would probably be it. It’s got third-grade narcing, “panting,” and is signed with “love.” More importantly, this one demonstrates proper, early parenthetical usage, which makes this maternal word nerd’s heart swell times nine million. I remember scanning it, too, as I only had a few seconds to confiscate the note and replace it in order to avoid suspicion.
The Rick Perry Letter:
The Perry letter was read aloud in a faculty meeting. THEN it was read again at an ATPE function later in the week. I’m tellin’ ya, the teachers really dug this one. I’ll never forget when Bella emerged from her room with her pen and notebook paper, wanting to know what Rick Perry’s address was. He never wrote back, but The Bell wasn’t worried about it. She told me, “Mom, didn’t you see the fake email address I put down there at the bottom? I didn’t want to hear his song and dance, but I didn’t wanna be rude either.”
I was confused, “Wait, huh?”
“Mom, it was a decoder email address. He wasn’t going to tell me anything I haven’t already heard before. Politicians. You know what I mean.”
“I think you mean a ‘decoy’, Bella.”
The Colorado Vacation Letter:
If I could spend just a few minutes with Bella again at any previous age, this would be the phase I’d revisit. She missed me “so much.” With an exclamation point, even. She wanted to know if Getoff’s baby was born yet, but, in typical Isobel fashion, didn’t want anyone to write back because she was belting out this letter on her way home in Nana’s rental car. The best part: a post script full of danger sure to freak out any mom included “…real prisoners and a dust devil and a cattle drive!”
The Birthday Card for Her Dad:
It wasn’t so much the birthday card as it was the backstory. Inside the envelope, she’d enclosed a dollar and forty-seven cents. It was all of her money at the time. She’d overheard us arguing about bills.
Sometimes people with newborns ask me what my favorite age has been of Bella’s. Truly, I have loved them all just as much as they’ve each been challenging in their own ways. When I see her these days trying so hard to be a teenager, but without the teen suffix just yet, I feel incredibly close to her even though she’s pushing me further and further away. Recently, I read a fantastic quote in Mary Pipher’s book about adolescent girls Bella’s age, Reviving Ophelia, in which a mother perfectly sums up every thought in my head at this point:
“I hurl you into the universe and pray.”
The clever, young girl who wrote these letters surely deserves an addendum to the above quote, though, and that makes me less nervous, if nothing else:
“I hurl you into the universe and pray — for others.“
I love, love, love this child forever.