The Plan was to write them each a letter, one at the beginning of every new year, to be compiled in a notebook exclusively theirs. Their papa and I would write them, desires and hopes and prayers and encouragements and challenges each uniquely customized for each precious child we call ours. Further, the plan was to write them sometime in the quiet and still moments of our holiday pause from school and work and commitments and obligations.
Except that pause never happened.
With emergency renos and a bout of The Mysterious Plague That Ails Me, there was only fast forwards to complete essential constructions before Christmas and crunch time pushed to full throttle in a schedule full of holiday appointments and a myriad of hosting responsibilities.
So, we failed in our execution of The Plan and, at the beginning of 2013, I went instead on my first date of the year with my eldest daughter Eliana.
She ordered a hot chocolate then a vanilla steamer then an apple fritter before contenting herself with an orange juice and coffee cake and I had what every person of discerning taste has when at a coffee shop - tea.
We settled in nicely together, tucked in the corner on a little round table with our drinks and treats and notebook between. I had a New Plan, one I secretly wondered if it wasn't all together so much better than the original. We would fill this notebook together, me and mine (and him and his), in dates shared together through the years.
Sure, there would be dreams and desires but they wouldn't be mine alone. She would speak hers, I would voice mine for her and we would scribble each in pages blotted with rings of tea and smears of sugar crumbs. There would be favorites and jokes and questions and fears and we would share them all in moments stolen from the hurry and flurry of our lives quick passing.
And this, I think, is A Better Plan - a far, far, far better plan. Because while I often imagine that I know these little ones and conjecture as to their futures and ways they might go, I am still only student, learning as they lead with their choices and interests. We, the papa and this mama, have so much we desire for them, so much we aspire to pass on to them, and yes, certainly instincts and perceptions that come through our daily observation of them.
But we, parent and child, are together yet on this journey of life for some years more and I don't want to miss a thing because I was blinded by my own vision or was marching to the beat of my personal agenda.
I want to script their lives and my role in it with goals and plans and actions we form in words spoken in the company of each other.
It wasn't The Original Plan.
But for the excuse it gives my husband and I to carve out priority of individual time with each miniature us, it is a much better plan. Maybe even The Perfect Plan.