Little Notes We Leave Behind
A number of years ago, I was going on a long weekend trip to visit a friend. Before I left for the trip, I hand wrote notes to my wife and kids and hid them throughout the house — under pillows for discovery at bedtime, inside pants pockets for the morning, in my wife’s purse, and other random places.
I remember coming home to them thanking me for leaving these little notes for them to discover. For the kids, it helped them to not be sad that I was gone and it gave them a sort of treasure hunt to distract them, while I was away. Little did I know back then that by leaving these notes, that I was starting a family tradition.
I’m a bit embarrassed to say that I did it mostly because I have a big fear of flying and anytime I fly, I expect the plane to crash. It’s morbid and a twisted way to view things, I know, but I can’t help it. There really isn’t a lot that I’m afraid of in life, but flying is one of those things. I started leaving notes when I would fly somewhere because, if something were to happen to me, I wanted my family to have a hand-written, last message from me to them.
Since then, any time my wife or I leave for a long weekend to visit friends or family, we always hide notes for everyone. Usually on post-its stuck in random places where we know a person will find them. I remember how happy I was the first time my wife went away and after she was gone, I started discovering the little notes she left behind for me. I’ve noticed that instead of being read and tossed away, these notes are kept.
They’re taken care of.
When the stickiness of a post-it note wears off, the kids have taken to taping or thumbtacking some of them to the walls above their beds and others are cherished by in each their own way. My wife keeps these notes I leave for her in a pile on her night stand or on her armoire.
I keep mine either on the bookshelf next to my side of the bed or fold them neatly and tuck them safely inside my wallet. When I’m having a rough day, I like to pull them out and read them. They always put a smile on my face and they remind me that no matter how bad I feel like my day has been, that someone loves me.
This note was one that my wife wrote and stuck to the range hood in our kitchen over two years ago when I was unemployed. It meant the world to me that day and I’ve kept it there as a reminder ever since.
Every morning when I make my way out to the kitchen, usually frustrated after tripping over kids and stepping on toys that should have been picked up the night before, it’s one of the first things I see and it helps me realize things aren’t that bad after all.
These were notes that I left for my wife when I went to the Dad 2.0 Summit last month, which she’s kept on her nightstand.
In this day and age, when a text message is easier and faster to send, it’s nice to see how much people, even children, truly appreciate a short, hand-written note. The thought and effort makes them happy, even if it did start out over my morbid fear of flying.
Header photo credit: danist soh