Thursday, May 9, 2013

Dear Bee, Guest Post by Erin Loechner

I'm honored to share our space with Erin Loechner today.  Erin is the creator and writer behind Design for Mankind but has been sharing her mama musings at Design for Minikind since she's become a mama. 

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 Photo Credit for all photos in this post:  Woodnote Photography


Her little "Bee" is nine months old now, and Erin expresses some heartfelt mama feelings and beautiful writing in her series of letters to her daughter.  This is one of her latest:

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Dear Bee
by Erin Loechner

Dear Bee,

Today I sat down to write you a letter and my mind started ticking boxes for all the things you’re learning and doing – all the moments I so desperately wanted to document in your letters, locking them away into a virtual cedar chest of sorts. You stand on your own now – a proud, but surprised look on your face, like you’ve just baked your first cherry delight and it didn’t taste horrible. Tick. You wave wildly, welcoming friends and family into our home as they come and go. Tick. You play independently, hug fiercely and throw tantrums with vigor. Tick, tick, tick.

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Ticks of achievement, sure, but they sound deceptively like the ticks of a minute hand – rhythmic and continuous – a soundtrack that’s ever-present in our days together. And I realize that while you’re changing, so is our world. There is entitlement and fraud and greed and guilt and sadness and trial – all the things that have existed before us and will continue to exist as you grow older. But there is also kindness, Bee. And heart and soul and baked goods and great music and warm sunshine – silver linings among the many storms our nation is facing, has faced and will always face.

As a kid, I was an avid swimmer – often training year-round – donning the latest Clinique scent of Eau de Chlorine. It was a grueling sport, but one that taught me the benefits of hard, honest work. There were no shortcuts when you were a distance swimmer, only flags and lane markers and flip cards. No bad referee calls or changing terrain. Because in competitive swimming, the only variable is time. It’s your mind and your body and your soul and maybe leaking goggles and choppy waves. And then there’s time.

There was an oversized stop watch on the wall of the natatorium I trained in. It was weathered, showing its age through steam-filled cracks and rusted zeroes. The second hand had been repaired many times, wrapped in different hues of faded beige masking tape, each shade revealing tales of personal bests and championships and failures. Yet it ticked on, never-failing, and my coach often joked that if we we’d endured half the trials the poor second hand had, we’d be all-stars in record timing.

I still remember those words and I often think of them when the days are long and the sky is cloudy. I thought I’d grow up to be the second hand, Bee, ticking on through trials and hard days and bad headlines. And I am, to some extent. We all are. This world is resilient and beautiful and surprising – ticking and tocking and changing-yet-not-changing all at the same time.

That doesn’t mean we’re strong, of course. It just means we have a steady supply of masking tape in our desk drawers – cures that heal, ties that bond, halves that complete.

And I guess what I meant to say in this letter is that you are my tape. Your father is my tape. Your grandparents and aunts and uncles and family friends and community and teachers and faraway mentors – they are shreds of masking tape, piecing together the broken and mangled second hands in their lives.

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And you will see many things in your lifetime – things I fear and things I hope – that will tick and tock until the world has changed yet again. My wish for you is this: that you often look for the tape. That you sometimes find the tape. And that you always be the tape.

XO,

Mama

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Erin Loechner is a  a writer/stylist/impromptu designer who recently entered the world of motherhood.  She writes at Design for Mankind and Design for Minikind and is a frequent contributor at Babble Voices and Disney Baby.

11 comments:

Andrea said...

Lovely...

wonderchris said...

Just wonderful!! Beautiful.

Vanessa said...

Such a great metaphor. Beautiful writing. I really love being introduced to all these wonderful writers through the guest posts. Such a great idea Kelle - more time for you with your family and your new little man and lots of extra fabulous women for us readers to be "introduced" to. :)

CountryMouse said...

Wow that is powerful and true.

Tammie said...

WOW!!! JUST WOW!!!

Erica said...

This is beautiful. Love it. I write letters to my own kids, so I love reading others. Thank you for sharing!

www.beautifullifemadeeasy.blogspot.com

Michelle said...

Oh my I just read this letter and it is amazing!! I love her writing and who so very vividly described her thoughts through the clock metaphor. I totally agree with Vanessa that I am so thankful for these guests posts of other amazing writers that you are offering. All these amazing women are feeding my soul and filling it with so much goodness while you have a chance to soak up the goodness of your precious family and help nurse Brett back to good health.

Thank you so much Kelle for all the amazing things your blog is doing to encourage me in my motherhood journey. I truly appreciate it.

Michelle

Laurajo said...

What a lovely letter. Beautiful words. My blog is similar in that it is written for my little boy to read when he's older.

http://dearharry.blogspot.co.uk/

You're the reason I started my blog Kelle. Thank you so much for such a wonderful gift x

Sydney said...

Sweet!

Andrea said...

Tears...beautifully said.

Marie Jones said...

Your article helped me to understand the topic well and I would love to share this to my friends. I also love to
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Thank you for this and all the best.