The Power of Sharing Your Story

It is happening everywhere; it is that time of year when kids are going back to school. From kindergarten to college, my friends and family are dealing with the annual send off and the array of emotions that include gratitude that you will once again have a semblance of control over your household, to the genuine pining of the heart for those kids who are moving out or away. For the parents of college freshmen, this is a particularly poignant time as the family dynamics truly shift.

As I send my boys back to college, I hear my friend Sherry saying “love and wings.” I send them off with a pair of new shoes or shorts, a few extra dollars and some life lessons tucked in their bags. Each school year I like to write them a letter, to remind them of good times spent, challenges faced and the inner strength that each of them uniquely possesses that will help them achieve their goals. I tuck it away in a suitcase for them to find and to read in their own time. Letter writing is powerful, and I know that it matters because, at some point, they tell me.

The power of letters seems to be the theme these days as we are finishing up writing WOWsdom! The Girl’s Guide to the Positive and the Possible. The 50 letters contributed by girls and women, written to their future and younger selves respectively, have had a big effect on me as I’ve read and reread them over again. I cannot wait until these books are tucked in our teen girls’ book bags, and they can seek them out for inspiration and insights, reminding them of their singular qualities that will help them realize the positive and the possible.

So, as you give your child those last words of wisdom before the bus–or dorm room–door closes, take a few minutes to reflect that they are where they should be, as are you. Know that there is power in sharing stories, and perhaps a letter or two during the school year tucked in a book bag or sent in the mail is a great way to both share and find strength.