Every night, before I go to sleep, I do what most parents do and sneak into the boy’s rooms to check they’re ok, tuck them back in and give them a gentle kiss. They’re all long legs now and the smell of baby shampoo has been swapped with lynx and the faint tinge of boy sweat.
A couple of days ago, I went into Harrison’s room and noticed the array of pencils and pens and post-it notes on his desk. He’s a stationery magpie, you see, and he’s got quite the collection.
I looked at him sprawled out in bed, suddenly not a little boy but a giant, fiercely independent ten-year-old. A ten-year-old who sometimes struggles with his emotions and battles between wanting to be a child and wanting to be a teenager. I had one of those ‘ god, I bloody love you’ moments that happen when you’re a parent, and wanted him to know. I grabbed a pencil and post it and left him a simple note:
‘To Harrison, I love you, love mommy’
I left it on his desk where he would see it when he woke up. When I got up the next morning, there was a post-it note on my door saying ‘I love you too mommy’.
Since then, we’ve got into a little routine of leaving love notes
I can remind him of how much I love him, even at the end of a challenging day, how strong and special he is, how clever and kind he is. It’s become something we both look forward to; I love writing them and he loves reading them. We’ve also noticed that since doing this, he’s in a much nicer and more amenable mood in the morning. After all, who wouldn’t be in a good mood after getting a love note to read as soon as you wake up? Hopefully, they carry him through the school day, reminding him how incredible he can be.
It’s something I want to carry on doing as long as possible, even through the fraught pre-teen and teenage years, to give him the reassurance that he needs and loves.