I sat at my sturdy desk, paper, pen and envelope in front of me. The words formed and reformed in my head as I struggled with what to say to a girl going to be ten years old. I went back to when I was ten years old. An age when I was reading books. An age when I had not yet labeled relationships. An impressionable age. What would I have told myself at that age?
It would be easier to type it out, backspace and erase as the thoughts changed mid sentence but I wanted to do it the hard way. Pen on paper. Ink. Indelible. Mistakes and attempts to correct there for the recipient to see.
It took me about seven minutes. The writing looked unsure. As tentative as the letter writer. The writing changed from paragraph to paragraph modelling the mind of the letter writer. It ended abruptly as if the writer suddenly realized it was a 10-year-old she was writing to not the 10-year-old she was.
As I signed off, I realized how much more I wanted to say and how disconnected I felt. This is a little girl whom I knew literally from the moment she was born. Her birth evokes images of snow fall in April. Of the promise of spring and new life. She represents the tangible moment in my life when I realized how much being a mother meant to me. But I did not know her. I know the concept of her. I know the image of her I carry in my head.
The letter represents a start. The start of perhaps a slow friendship that could evolve between a little girl and a much older woman. An exploration of common things like books and a love for words. May be there will be letters in the future penned by a surer hand. Penned by a mind that knows what it wants to say.