I Can’t Find The Words…

Words to memorize, words hypnotize
Words make my mouth exercise
-the Violent Femmes

I love words. I love to read them and to write them. Jason will also tell you I like to speak them (I’m a talker!) I’m constantly starting stories in my head; some stay there, while others become a blog post or maybe a piece of fiction. Words are important to me, and putting words down on paper has become not just a hobby for me, but a lifeline.

The girls’ preschool is doing a really cool thing this year. Once a month, they send home a piece of paper that you are to fill out to express how you feel about your child. For example, last month, the paper was in the shape of an apple and the prompt was: Lila is the apple of my eye because… So at the end of the year, they will each have a book full of special love notes.

Now as someone who loves to write, this should be easy for me. I should be able to tell my girls – with words – how much they mean to me. What I love about them. What I want them to know about how I love them.

And yet, the words fail me.

I sat, looking at those two apples (one for Lila and one for Mia) for about 15 minutes before I attempted to write. This is after I had thought about what I wanted to say for (literally) days.

I was afraid the words would sound generic. I love Lila because she is such a sweetheart. That doesn’t explain why I love her – it sounds like something any mom in anywhere USA could write about any kid they know. It made me sad to think that I can’t even pen to my children how much they mean to me.

Is it because I simply can’t express it because it’s so deep and so special? Is it because I don’t know how to express it?

I told my mom I was also worried that in the years to come the girls would compare what I wrote, and think “Well, mom loved Lila (or vice versa) more because she wrote more words (or they were more thoughtful or more well written.)” Silly, I know, but it is what it is.

Why is it that I can’t find the words to express how much I love them? Do any of you writers out there have the same problem?


  1. All the time, Natalie, all the time. I still haven't written my thank you letter to daycare, and when I sit down to "Just Write" or "Pour My Heart Out" about anything lately, I find that I just can't hit publish. It's not enough, I cant find the words for how moved I am, or how angry , or how frustrated or completely moved. I read this and was nodding, yes! I get it, the words when I need them most seem to be too little to show how I really feel sometimes. XO Kir recently posted..Introducing Precipice Volume 2 (The Literary Anthology of Write on Edge)My Profile
  2. I think it's because you have too many words to express how you feel about your precious girls. The words will come... don't be so hard on yourself. Tonya recently posted..In Praise Of The LoveyMy Profile
  3. I think that whatever words you use, those notes will mean more to them than you ever thought possible. Andrea recently posted..Halloween VisitsMy Profile