Today I wrote a letter. A letter to someone who was close to one of my girls, once, but who never sees her now. A letter which is supposed to give an annual update on this child's doings.
How do you squeeze twelve months into a few short paragraphs and a handful of photographs? I could paint the picture of a sad miserable, dreadfully disabled child, or I could draw out a happy, carefree little sprite. I could fill the space available with descriptions of battles and clashes of wills, arguments and disagreements, or wax lyrical about all the lovely times.
I try to put a little of everything in, but then I wonder what this person wants to know. Do they want to know things are hard; would that help to know that seeing this child would be too hard for them? Do they want to think things are perfectly wonderful, that they aren't missed or needed? Am I sharing too much truth, will this person spend the next year worrying about the things I have mentioned? Or have I shared too little; am I short changing them?
And what of the child? What does the child think I should write? If that's too complicated a thought for now, will there be a time when the child wants to know what I have written, and what will the child think of it when they do? Am I writing this letter for me, for my child, for this other person? Am I causing them pain by writing it? Is a letter better than nothing, or does it keep the pain alive?
And in writing this letter, I have been looking back through the last year of this blog. So much in it - no wonder I'm tired. And so much which never found its way here - and again, no wonder I'm tired. A year in the life of two little girls. Progress, development, change. Illness, deterioration, pain. Holidays and hellishdays, hopes and history. The general just-about-see-a-path-through-most-of-the-chaos life we seem to live. I'm not complaining (well, not much); this is the life I chose, and I'd choose it again in a heartbeat. I'm just not sure it's necessarily the life I'd choose for the girls. But I'm reasonably certain that's not the message I want to get across in this letter.
The deed is done, the letter is written; I think it's reasonably honest and I hope it's well received. And the picture at the top has nothing to do with this; I just liked it.