When I was a kid, I used to write letters to my future husband. They were shy, timidly honest, and incredibly hopeful. I would hide them in my journal or in my underwear drawer, and blush horribly if anyone for some reason came across them. In fact, once my oldest brother got his hands on one of my letters and asked me what it was (I kept the envelopes blank with small numbers written in the corner). I snatched it from him, ran to the bathroom, locked the door, tore the letter up and flushed it down the toilet.
Needless to say, I was a dramatic little girl.
My brother wouldn't have taunted me, had he found out what it was; I'm blessed to have siblings who aren't too cruel to the baby of the family. I'm not sure why I was so afraid of what people would think if they knew. The first time I wrote a letter to my future husband I think I was probably 8 or so.
I tried to find my letters the last time I was home, but I couldn't; I must've hid them well.
The first one was probably a poorly written series of questions:
Dear Future Husband,
Where do you live right now?
What is your favorite color?
Do you like dogs? I hope so.
Do you like to watch Gymnastics?
If you do, maybe we should watch the olympics together.
Your Future Wife
My first letter was, more or less, something like the above.
A series of letters would follow, the content maturing slowly along with me. I would hide them together, but would often change the hiding place; paranoid that my parents, or worse my siblings would find them. I (as far as I know) was the only one in the family that wrote letters to a person who I hadn't met, and it was a secret I wanted to keep.
The last time I wrote a letter to my future husband, I was around 15. I don't know exactly why I stopped. Maybe because when I started going on dates with boys, my whole idea of what a future husband would be changed. Maybe I thought it was a silly idea. More likely, however, is that I thought my future husband would think my letters were silly.
When Gideon and I moved to boise, I found a letter, just one, crumpled and stuffed in a small suitcase filled with socks, undies, and dance leotards. I don't know how I've missed it all these years, but I'm pretty sure it was the last one I wrote; it had handwriting that looked like I was trying to impress someone, was carefully spell checked, and smelled like perfume had lightly kissed it years and years ago.
What an old fashioned girl I am.
Writing love letters to boys I've yet to meet, spritzing them with perfume,
then hiding them away, never to be found again.
Except this one.
When Gideon found out what it was, he sweetly begged me to read it to him, but I wanted to read it on my own first. It had been over 8 years since I had written it, placed it in the envelope and sealed it carefully. It was actually unfair of me; the letter was technically addressed to my future husband. But Gid didn't mind that I wanted to read it in private before I shared it. It was like meeting my younger self in a way, and I was a little apprehensive to do so.
The letter was naive in places, but I was surprised with the overall maturity that I found in it. And when Gideon read it silently to himself, and I saw how much he loved it, I was a little sad that I had stopped writing them.
Hopefully someday when I'm at home looking for Christmas decorations, or some other dusty artifact in the attic, I'll come across a secret bundle of letters, and I'll be able to give them to the one they were meant for.
In the mean time.
I think I'm going to start writing letters to my future children.
They might (understandably) think they are silly.
But I feel confident, that as they grow up, they'll begin to cherish the letters I've written them.
If they're anything like their parents, they certainly will.