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Yes, you read the title correctly “hangcliffers.” Over the last few years, many moms have shared with me things their sons and daughters have said to them, sometimes it’s a word or a phrase. Then other times it’s very creative ideas. If you’re like most moms, we are good to remember our to-do list for the day but years from now will we recall the unique words, phrases, or ideas when our kids were growing up? You may remember some, but not all.
From those conversations with other moms and my ever-growing lack of memory, I decided to grab a composition notebook (you know the cute ones you can pick up at TJMaxx or Marshall’s and started writing notes to my daughter). It’s not a journal. It’s more like a collection of letters to her in a notebook where I am sharing her gifts, talents, and special events. It is also a great memory book of sorts for her too.
What types of things do I include in my letters? Well, it definitely includes the hangcliffer. So, where does hangcliffer come from? It started out as a typical night where we were watching a tv series with our daughter and this episode was the last one for the season. It ended without really ending. You know, the ones where you are left not knowing what happened next. My daughter stood up and said with a very serious face and tone she said to us “that was a real hangcliffer.”
If your dyslexic kiddo is like most, they change around words or use another word that doesn’t always fit a situation. This is not a book of shame, it’s a notebook of celebrations. Things that make my kiddo unique and special to us. There are no rules to these letters or entries, it’s yours so make it what you want. Most importantly, have fun with it.
Let me share another example letter that I wrote to my daughter earlier this month.
Recently our daughter and her 5th-grade friends created a film company and we hosted the first meeting for the company at our house. It helps when your husband teaches film for a living, thanks Chris. We had movie games, food, and film pitches, they choose roles for the company and decided on the next steps for the film.
It was so amazing to watch how passionate these rising 6th graders were about producing their own films. Their ideas and the way they processed as a group were better than some of Chris’ high school and college students – we will just keep that one between us. I included this in one of the letters I wrote to her that week. Who knows one day when she is a famous movie producer she may come back to the notebook for inspiration.
Let’s talk benefits – our kids are growing up way too quickly (although the days seem long sometimes) I am still trying to believe we are heading to middle school.
And if I think about having 7 summers until college – well you know . . .
- It keeps you grounded and grateful in your parenting journey. I’m on the lookout daily for her amazing thoughts, sayings, and inspirations.
- Experiences recorded. I don’t write in my notebook every day or even every week. But, I do keep it on my work desk to remind me to be on the lookout for greatness – big and small. It could include how she taught her friends how to use Redstone on her Minecraft server or being selected for the Academy soccer team.
- When the days get hard, and they will, it’s just part of parenting, you can thumb through and read a few earlier entries in the notebook for a smile, laugh, and a good cry. I promise it’s worth it.
- Writing the letters is a fun part of my day that makes me laugh and reminds me how much she’s grown as a person.
If you are just starting your dyslexia journey, this is a great place to start.
If you have been around for a minute, what are you waiting for?
How To Get Started
- Write “buy a notebook” on your to-do list or jump on Amazon to order a notebook today!
- Keep the notebook on your desk or nightstand (somewhere you are daily)
- Start writing things down that your kiddo says, does, and shares with you
This is a great way to write down things you would want to share with your kiddo as an adult but you are afraid you won’t remember. I’m 100% sure you won’t remember all the details if you don’t write them down as they happen.
I’m heading to write down our girls’ day this week when a few friends came over to learn to sew pillows for our next watch party later this month. My mom helped teach my daughter and her two friends to measure and cut fabric and how to use the sewing machine. We enjoyed pizza, brownies, and laughs – – – along with some fabulous pillows. The girls did a great job. What a special memory with her grandmother and friends (in case you are wondering, I do not sew).
Don’t wait for your Facebook memories to pop up to remind you what happened last year, five years ago, or a week ago, write down your own memories that you can later share with your son or daughter. Who knows it may help them get through a tough day or days in the future.
Remember, You Got This. You are not alone. If you want to join other amazing moms raising children with dyslexia, join the Dyslexia Mom Life Podcast Community FB Group.
Happy writing, you got this! Enjoy writing letters to your kiddos.