As a child, I never wrote a letter to be opened by my adult self, whether via a teacher’s mailing or a time capsule or some other means. (At this point I just laugh at my old diaries.) But I’m about to write one for someone else’s child.
Two dear friends of mine, married for nearly a dozen years, recently adopted a baby. I say recently but the process had been going on for well over three years, as they attended classes, read books, opened their home and themselves up for inspection, and waited and hoped and prayed. Then suddenly they had two weeks notice that a beautiful 2-month-old baby boy would likely soon be their son. Wonder of wonders, their dream came true.
Not wanting to raise their hopes only to have them crushed, my friends never had a baby shower. Anyway, family and friends and fellow adoptive parents descended upon them with gifts and loans as soon as their son arrived. They’re not materialistic at all, and love ejecting unnecessary items from their small apartment the way some people love buying shoes and computer games.
As their son neared 8 months, they had him converted to Judaism in a small, meaningful ceremony. (No, nothing had to be cut.) When he is 13 he will be asked to commit to his faith as an adult through a bar mitzvah, the same way Christians do through confirmation. His parents thought it would be wonderful if their family and friends would write letters to their boy now, to be opened at this later ceremony.
We weren’t asked to write about religion, just to share our thoughts on his place in our world and to let him know how loved he is, and by how many. Magic. What a joyous, glorious idea.