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Letters to My Future Family

To end the 'boy, I wish I knew then what I know now' syndrome.
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I've been a single guy now for longer than I had planned; according to my plan I'm about 4 years behind. Anyway, being an avid journal writer, I thought that my future kids might benefit more from my experiences and what I learned if I made an effort to capture them and communicate them as they happened, rather than have them hearing a bunch of 'when I was your age...' stories that go in one ear and out the other. And since weaknesses run in families, I'd share my own and tell them what to watch out for, written for their age. My plan is to give them one letter at every birthday, and also significant events, like graduation, weddings, Nobel Prize acceptances, etc. I think I'll write a few letters to my future wife as well to give to her on our honeymoon; seeing as how I haven't met her yet, or if I have, don't know it. I may actually do this. Should I put it on www.fullbakery.com?
RayfordSteele, May 03 2002

My Life, starring Michael Keaton http://us.imdb.com/Title?0107630
You're not ill, are you Rayford? [calum, May 03 2002]

LibertyNET's Email Archive System http://www.libertyi...ions/prevention.htm
"...designed for Email capture, archive and data-mining." [phoenix, May 03 2002, last modified Oct 21 2004]

A Letter http://www.chastitycall.org/wife.html
..... to future husband [Helium, May 05 2002, last modified Oct 21 2004]

[link]






       Ray, I thought about doing this in my early 20s. I always wanted to have a son named John, and, under the reasonable expectation that I probably would someday, I thought it would be interesting to write letters to him about the events of my life in those days. I didn't expect he would benefit from them so much as he would learn a bit about his own man that he might have been otherwise able to glean.   

       The intention was that I would keep these stored safely away and give them to him all at once, when I felt he was old enough to get something from them.   

       I never did it because I was concerned that if I had more than one child, that it would seem unfair to the others that I thought of "John" and not them (particularly so if the firstborn was a daughter).   

       It didn't much matter, as I never did have a son named John and it's very unlikely to happen now. I feel weird even telling you about this, talking about "him" like he ever existed. The odd part is that when I stop and realize that he was never born, a part of me feels a bit of loss. Shouldn't, but I do.   

       Anyway, I'd recommend this if you feel good about it. I'd 86 the idea of writing to your future wife, though. No way that could be a good thing.
waugsqueke, May 03 2002
  

       waugs, I think I'll get around it by writing 'dear son' or 'dear daughter' or something like that. Or maybe change the name when the time came. Not sure what I'd do if I had two boys or two girls, though. That might get tricky.
RayfordSteele, May 03 2002
  

       calum, yes. Most experts think I have only another 65 years or so. ;-)   

       (only in the head, in other words).
RayfordSteele, May 03 2002
  

       "Dear future child...."   

       Twist it a bit and make it an online archive: a giant e-mail server that spits out whatever you send into it after a 20-year delay.
phoenix, May 03 2002
  

       Find me an email server that'll be up in twenty years, and I might do that...
RayfordSteele, May 03 2002
  

       As part of our wedding video, both my wife and I made individual video addresses to our as-yet unconceived offspring, reasoning that they'd view the video later, and that such an inclusion would make it more personal for them. We planned to view these on our first anniversary, but have still not gotten to it (after eight anniversaries), so I don't know what my wife's says. But mine was a lot like what you suggest, including life lessons learned to date, a summary of where I saw myself at that point in life and where I was headed. I didn't bother to worry about genders or names, just referred to them as "our children." If we only ever have one child, we can explain that our hopes for more just didn't work out, and I don't think she'll feel slighted.   

       Oh, and I agree with waugs about the letter to a future wife.
beauxeault, May 03 2002
  

       I think the delayed delivery service that [phoenix] suggests might be a good idea, either for e-mail or by the post office. You select age of recipient and can work with abstract addresses like "1st son of 1st child of Rayford" or such. Then you could send all sorts of junk to all of your far distant offspring.
spartanica, May 03 2002
  

       I wrote a letter to my first child whilst he/she was in my tummy, I remember the nervous feeling the day before going for a scan and feeling like I was meeting him/she for the first time. I recorded my feelings, the song that was at the top of the charts, what the weather was like etc. I still have the letter, but will give it to my children when I think they are old enough to understand. I don't know if I agree with writing to people you haven't met yet, or children that are planned but not yet conceived, but as I already did this in a way I must vote for it.
arora, May 03 2002
  

       Just wondering, why would writing to my future wife be a bad thing?
RayfordSteele, May 05 2002
  

       <eg> do it form-letter style: Dear __________,   

       But seriously, by the time you give them the letters, they ought to be mature enough to understand why you weren't oracular enough to know the future. If they're insulted anyway ("I knew it! You wanted a boy/girl instead of me!") donate to charity (an orphanage perhaps??) that college money you've been saving; they won't be needing it.
ThotMouser, May 05 2002
  

       Rayford, with respect to the future wife: I believe she will find it more romantic and more meaningful to have charmed you with who she really is, rather than to have had the good fortune, by chance, to conform to your preconceived hopes/dreams/fantasies. I also believe this is (unless you are quite unfortunate), much more likely to be the case. The good news is that you cannot hope to imagine your future wife in perfect detail. The bad news is that any detail you might get wrong in a letter at this point could easily be a source of either offense, or more likely, place more or less significant doubts in her mind about whether you have needs she's not meeting.   

       This is the case not only for how you might envision her, but also for how you see yourself and your own aspirations. There might well be things you now feel are important parts of who you are, that you grow out of between now and then, or that you choose to sacrifice for the greater joy of pleasing her. It's best in the long run that you not create any doubts in her mind that can be avoided.   

       Sure, there are women who can reason away concerns about a man's past, just as there are those who worry too much. But you don't know yet which she will be, do you?
beauxeault, May 05 2002
  

       congratulations, beaux.
po, May 05 2002
  

       beau, a. I don't have any reasons in my past for her to worry about. 2. I'd try and avoid prognosticating about the future or about her, and iii. would try and write non-specifically about how whatever in my current lifestyle is preparation for being with her...
RayfordSteele, May 05 2002
  

       Marry me, Helium!   

       (j/k)
RayfordSteele, May 05 2002
  

       Depends what you're writing about beaux. I don't think anyone should mind receiving a letter detailing the the past hopes, dreams and lessons learned by their life partner. In an honest relationship there shouldn't be any reason for it to cause anxiety. It's all part of the package, and their past experiences are what made them person you fell in love with.   

       However, I admit that it would be possible for a shallow minded person to write an offensive letter.   

       eg Dear future wife, well , so far I have scored me six women, by the time I meet you I will really know how to satisfy you. I sure hope you've got big knockers like the second one. I'm saving all my mother's recipes so you can learn to cook like her....etc
Helium, May 05 2002
  

       //(j/k)//   

       awwww
Helium, May 05 2002
  

       I had reservations earlier, and to be honest, I don't think it's a good idea to write to your future wife/husband. I once had a really vivid dream about meeting a guy called Peter in a field of wheat, with a stream running by, we had a picnic under a weeping willow tree, he wore a black waistcoat and played the guitar. If I wrote a letter based on that dream my now husband would not fit the bill. He would be upset to say the least that I had a preconceived idea about my true love. My hubby doesn't have sweeping long black hair and play the guitar like Eric Clapton, and would'nt be seen dead in a waistcoat. He may not have been the man of my dreams, but life changes.   

       I'll keep the letter, and when I meet Pete I'll let you know.!
arora, May 05 2002
  

       If I'd read that before I wouldn't be enclosing my deep dark secrets (thank god my hubby can't understand HB ) - but telling you off Helium - Pete would've done all the cooking anyway.
arora, May 05 2002
  

       Last night I went to sleep and left the tv on. (By the way, in the middle of the night we get those long running US commercials).   

       Anyway, I was dreaming that I was getting married, and the wedding had to stop for 20 mins while Victoria Principal did a face cream demo.
Helium, May 05 2002
  

       You should'nt sleep with the TV on, I usually dream in Black and White, and almost always has something to do with Africa and Humphry Bogart mingled with deep sea diving.
arora, May 05 2002
  

       I don't know how to tell you this arora but I think I ended up with your Peter...although he keeps his black hair short now and he sold his guitar if that makes you feel any better :-)
Helium, May 05 2002
  

       Bugger - If he has an old watch stopped at 4pm in the top left hand pocket I'm gonna be really p**d off.
arora, May 05 2002
  

       Well, he had something in his pocket but I thought he was just pleased to see me.
Helium, May 05 2002
  

       I didn't imagine him to be that agile - can't be the same Pete. Phew.
arora, May 05 2002
  

       Nuts. She's taken. ;-)
RayfordSteele, May 05 2002
  

       beaux, extremely well put. Ray, you would do well to heed this wise man's advice, despite your current compulsion to do otherwise. If you insist on writing a letter to your future wife, then put it in a safe deposit box, and, when the time comes to give it to her, read it over at the bank first. Chances are you'll toss it in the trash. If you manage to write one that survives with integrity throughout the ensuing years, you have my congratulations and respect for your amazing foresight and/or tact and/or good fortune.   

       I want to clarify the bit about my letters to my son John. The problem wasn't a name hang-up, that 'dear son' could have solved. The problem is that I never had a son at all, nor any offspring. I'm a stepdad.
waugsqueke, May 06 2002
  

       UB, yes. Currently I have schloads of time. What, you didn't figure that out by my ridiculous amount of time spent here?   

       waugs, well certainly I'll review the thing ahead of time.
RayfordSteele, May 06 2002
  

       "Rayford?"
"Yes dear"
"What's in this envelope marked 'Letter to my second wife'?"
hippo, May 06 2002
  

       my mother recorded some of her feelings and experiences when she was pregnant with me. she never showed them to me, but i found them in a box of junk and read them. it was odd, but cool.
shivi, May 07 2002
  

       shivi, your pre-birth bulge made such a handy writing stand, it was irresistable.
RayfordSteele, May 07 2002
  

       No dear... that's 'second letter to my wife.' Yeah that's it. <quick scribbling> see that arrow there?
RayfordSteele, May 07 2002
  

       I think this is a really lovely idea. The 3rd of May is the worst date of the year for me, it's the anniversary of the death of two of my closest relatives, who died in an accident. I can't describe the joy that it would have brought me if they'd written letters like this. As it is, the fact that you posted it on that very day is strangely comforting to me. So a big, slightly soggy croissant from me!
salachair, May 09 2002
  
      
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