Recently, The Eldest brought home a time capsule, donated to each student at her school, for us to fill and return to school. The time capsule, then, would be stored in a new build in Ottawa, to be returned to the student and opened in 50 years time.
50 years time. Which, when one works out the math...hurts.
In 50 years time, The Eldest will be 54. The Youngest will be 52. Hubby and I will be 89, well past current life expectancy for both men and women, and therefore unlikely to still be here. And so I cried. A lot. And it made working out what to put into the time capsule incredibly hard.
What do you say to your children, 50 years down the track, not knowing the turns in their lives and what words they should receive / want to receive / need to receive from their (potentially deceased) parents.
Thankfully, The Eldest had some of her own ideas. She was insistent that we included some of her hair, so she could see what colour her hair was when she was four. So, into the time capsule, went two locks of hair, one for The Eldest and one for The Youngest, brown and straight, blonde and curly. Soft as silk.
In went a picture of her family under a rainbow, painstakingly drawn and coloured in.
Space, however was an issue. The time capsule was small. Very briefly, I contemplated putting in a USB drive with files on it, but considering how rapidly technology is changing, it could be rendered useless and therefore immensely disappointing. Whereas the written word can always be read (as long as the ink hasn't faded!!!).
Folded paper takes up a lot of space, so after a lot of thought, in to the time capsule went messages from their grandparents (what treasure!), a few photos of themselves, our dog and us as a family.
In went the blog posts I wrote to both girls for their birthdays this year A letter to the Eldest and A letter to the Youngest.
And lastly, a letter from us to them, parents to children, across half a century. What do you say to your children, 50 years down the track?
In the end, after starting the letter off with personal, pertinent, what their personalities and lives are like right now, I finished off with the following:
I hope with all my heart, that in fifty years time, life has been good to my girls. That they are happy. That they love, and are loved in return.
(I hope the paper wasn't too tear stained).
Will they ever actually get the time capsule? I hope so. And if they do, I hope they see it as something special, and that the words within give them joy as well as comfort. I hope I am still around, and with enough mental faculty left to share it with them. And if not, I hope I am there in spirit.
And mostly, I want my words not to be new words. I want them to be words they heard from me a hundred thousand times over the next 50 years and that when they read my letter, it will be affirmation of how much we loved them, how beautiful, special and loved they are. That if they don't get the time capsule, they know those words anyway.
And just to be safe, I have kept a copy, to pass on to them, in 50 years time regardless.
*What would you write to your children?