How to write a comforting note to your child

Like other parents of a school-age child, I await the end-of-summer letter outlining needed class supplies with mild trepidation. I think here we go again: off to the big box store to stare at shelves already picked clean of No. 2 pencils and three-ring binders in any color except white. But this year something more interesting made the list – the emergency preparedness kit.

Our school first requested the kit – or zip-close bag filled with survival-type supplies – sometime last year. I surprised myself by being among the 50 percent of parents who months later had failed to turn one in. My daughter reminded me every month or so, giving me soft deadlines, like the end of a given week, and I blew threw them. So what was making this so difficult? I narrowed it down to one troublesome item on the kit list.

They wanted a “comforting note from home.” No parent wants to think about the worst case scenario, let alone write a note as if it has happened. I suspected this item was the thing delaying the kits in most households. But after some months I got lucky when, after dinner one night, I was suddenly ready to hammer it out. It should come out in one fell swoop, I reasoned, because if you were with your child when disaster struck, you wouldn’t get to practice your speech then either.

So in case you find yourself experiencing a similar paralysis over the comforting note, feel free to lift anything you like from mine. And collectively we’ll hope they never break the seal on the envelope.

Dear Quinn,
I know that everyone around you is really scared and you are too, but remember it is only a matter of time until we are together again; me, you, Daddy and Bailey. It just takes a long time to sort everything out so try to be patient OK? Listen carefully to what the adults tell you and comfort other kids if you can. Think of all those survival shows we watched together and remember how strong the human mind and body can be. I know you are clever and smart and will get through this. So hang in there my brave girl. Me and Daddy will be there to hug you SOON.
Love,
Mommy

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