Some of us write better than we talk
I certainly relate to the title of this blog. It is one of the many reasons that I participate in this activity and shy away from public speaking. Verbal expression is sometimes awkward, uncomfortable or stilted, but the words often flow when I put fingers to keyboard. This is also true for some of our children.
I was hanging out with some of my favorite adoptive mom friends, and one began to share how she was trying an experiment with her sons. She had found some old composition notebooks around the house, and she was going to begin a back and forth dialogue with them in written form. This resonated with me and offered a flash of hope as I considered one of our daughters in particular. Words are sometimes not plentiful for her – not at all a problem for her sister – and I sometimes struggle with how to connect on a deeper level. I KNOW there are a lot of thoughts, ideas, and feelings swirling around inside of her, but to express them is sometimes a challenge.
So, I rounded up a few cool journals (see picture – one daughter is into books and study, the other into super heroes) around our home, presented the idea to our girls and we began a back and forth kind of sharing diary. We have been doing this for about eight months now, and it has been a hit, particularly with our more introverted and quiet child. She truly is more in her element when writing.
This practice has given me one more avenue to offer words of encouragement during joyous, anxious or challenging times. Back and forth journaling has helped me more fully live out some of the suggestions in my last blog on seeing the strength behind a troublesome behavior. I just last night wrote to each of them their own personal #10 strength or character trait as we’ve been on a “10 things I love about you” theme. Taking the time to be deliberate with penned words has made this a powerful exercise and increased my awareness of just what makes these two so incredibly special. At times when emotions have been overwhelming, it has been a safe place for our quieter girl to express words that had a difficult time coming out of the mouth.
Sometimes we write back and forth several times a week and sometimes much less frequently. We place this mother/daughter exchange on each other’s pillow. They genuinely get excited when they see their special journal on their bed. And when I come up tired at the end of the day and have a hand written note from one of my girls, it is such a gift and a joy. I cherish these exchanges and hope to be reading and writing them for years to come.