Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Something every mom needs to do for her daughter!

After my graduation dinner (at The Palm, naturally), I walked into my room to see a thick stack of envelopes and a note from my mom. It said:

"Dear Carly, There have been people in your life who have watched you grow up and develop and become the person you are today. Here is a collection of notes from people far and near who know you, love you, get you. Happy graduation, Car. Go out and light the world on fire. Keep these letters close–reflect on them often– these are the people who will love you always. Love, Mom and Dad"

I spent hours opening, reading, and rereading the letters. I cried so much when reading them. Every one of the letters were so thoughtful and personal.

My mom made a list of all the important people in my life– literally since birth– and sent them postmarked envelopes with stationery ready to go. She asked them to share a memory, write advice, etc. [I kept seeing a million of the same white envelopes showing up in our mail slot, but I was still so surprised!!!!]

A list of people who sent me letters:
  • The owner of my favorite store
  • Babysitter from Atlanta (age 0-4) & Boston (age 4-8)
  • Family friends
  • High school coaches
  • Parents of close friends
  • Middle school SADD mentor
  • Best friend's mom
  • My best friend in the entire world
  • 6th grade math teacher
  • The person who interviewed me for Georgetown <--- how clever!!!
  • My doctor
  • Elementary school principal
  • Super close friends
  • AP Physics teacher (she saved my life one day, nbd)
  • Painting teacher
  • 9th grade English teacher
  • Ex-boyfriend
Not many people really and truly get me. As you can see from the list, it's kind of random. But each person that sent me a letter impacted my life.

My principal included newspaper clippings she had kept of me!

My Boston babysitter included pictures I had drawn her-- Quite the artist?

And a picture from my first day of Kindergarten.

As I may have mentioned (I think I have) before, I have not exactly had the smoothest college career. Every time I felt upset, I would read the letters to make me feel better! I'm so glad my mom gave them to me because they really helped me get through tough times.

One of my favorite ones– it's from my ex-boyfriend... I love him, he is such a sweetheart. It takes a really strong person to put up with me: I'm crazy, remember? I didn't so much as kiss the poor thing in the four months we dated.

"Carly, I've never quite met a girl like you. Yes, that is a good thing. Despite only knowing you since my senior year it feels like so much longer. I've seen you turn into a truly wonderful young lady and a real bitch of a coxswain. And, yes, that also is a good thing. Remember in college to keep your fists up, stick to your guns, and don't let anybody change you. You're already perfect to me. Take care in the year ahead, I know you'll do great. If you ever need anything my phone is always on. I will always pick up...."

If you have a daughter graduating, you should really consider doing this for her. I love my letters and will keep them for the rest of my life.


  1. how sweet! what a great idea :)

  2. i cried just reading this... I DEF will remember this upon having children. Too awesome.

  3. I work at a summer camp, and a coworker of mine recently gave this gift to another coworker in the form of a book full of notes and letters by his former and current camp kids. Each letter explained the impact that he had on the kid's life. It was so thoughtful.

    You are very lucky to have received such a wonderful gift. I only wish my mother did the same! This post has inspired me to collect letters for my best friend as they graduate in just a month. Thanks for the inspiration!

  4. my high school had a retreat and part of it was that your friends and family would write you notes about how much they appreciate you. getting these notes was one of the most touching experiences of my life.

  5. Wow! very interesting blog for every Mom,I really like this blog..
    Thanks for sharing!

  6. that is the sweetest thing ever!

  7. This is actually a tradition at my high school! They give all the seniors their senior letters at the senior breakfast!

  8. Wow that is really wonderful. When I graduated from highschool my 5th grade teacher mailed us all letters that we had written to ourselves as 10 year olds. I love that! To recieve what you did must have been so moving!

  9. This is such a sweet idea. Love the letter from your ex-boyfriend, he must have really liked you :) I'll definitely remember to do this for my daughter some day!

  10. how thoughtful of your mother to contact all these people -- and for them to recall all of your wonderfullness through the years. truly this is a treasure! and what love you must feel! what a great post! as a mama of a young girl, you have given me great inspiration! thank you!

  11. Our high school did this when we graduated. They asked our parents to have people get letters from all these people and before graduation they brought all of us into the auditorium and everyone got a big manila envelope filled with letters. It's so sweet of your mom to do that for you! 10 years later, I still have my letters!

  12. This is sooooo sweet! I absolutely love the letter from your ex-boyfriend, that is some great advice! This is a fabulous idea, and I am telling everyone I know about this!

  13. I have written several letters for students whose parents or church were doing this same thing. It is a great idea. xoxo

  14. So sweet - we did something very similar at a high school retreat, and I loved all my letters. And that last letter... your ex-boyfriend is the sweetest!

  15. That's truly adorable. What a great idea! PS: Your ex's advice is great, especially these days. I already like him and I've never even met him!

  16. Save them forever, they are keepsakes for years to come. I am a saver, sometimes might be referred as a "pack rat" until sharing with friends and family...then all agree...they are memories that last a lifetime.

  17. Oh goodness, this is such a fabulous idea, you have a collection to treasure for a lifetime, and they clearly helped out over the years! Smiles at you,

  18. love it!!! and you are such a great girl

  19. This is an awesome gift! I'm starring this in my reader that way when Pud graduates (oh, about 18 years from now) I'll remember what a great gift this was!! What an awesome mommma!

  20. that's such a great idea!!! check out my blog... i gave you an award!!!

  21. This is too sweet. I also cried when reading it, I can only imagine how you felt reading all of those cards. I also really like the task jar!

  22. i really dont like you, i'm assuming your a virgin... sorry bout it

  23. Thanks so much for posting this! My dad has leukemia and they don't think he'll still be around for my college graduation next year. It gave me the idea to have him write me a letter so I can have it later on :)


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