Letters to Lauren Archive

 So today came. Bringing with it the email that, in part, helps to shape the next seven years of your life – shape, yes; determine – definitely not. The email informed us that you have been offered a place at our, and I emphasise our, fourth choice school for you. We always knew that this would be the most likely outcome. We are outside of the catchment area for our first choice, and the second and third choices have set criteria that were designed to put other children before you. They are only before you in the sense that their families have faith in something other than just each other. So what next? Well, we will ask to be placed on a waiting list for

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We love you. We love you more and more each day. You love us. You tell us more and more each day. You tell us your love is “Up to the ceiling, down to the floor, round the world and lots, lots more.” That’s how much my Mum loves me – it was the same amount my Nan, my Dad’s mum loved me. It was the way I expressed my love to your Mum on our wedding day. It’s our family thing. And now our family has grown. We now have a son; you have a brother. We love your brother very much. Without him, we were still a very happy family. With him, we are now a very happy family with two wonderful children.

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There’s a place in your head. A place you go to – a place I’m not sure exists in my own. It’s where you find a moment of magic. A moment which captivates, which enthrals – a place I love to see you in; see you exploding out of. It’s where your creativity exits – something which is truly coming to the fore. You dance, you draw, you sing, you imagine – you create. You make the time we spend together as entertaining as any I have enjoyed in my life. I wait eagerly for the next time a song springs from your tongue, or a dance finds its way to your feet. It is as though something clicked just before Christmas. You once drew

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Dear Lauren, For you and I, today will be a day just like any other. I will spend hours at work trying to convince people to believe in me; believe in what I am saying. Where as you will run, and jump, and try to see how much mud you can get under your finger nails. The answer will be lots. For others, some 13 years older than you, today will be billed as the first, in a long line of most important days of their lives. They will receive exam results. Those exams are called GCSEs. Both your mum and I did GCSEs. Who knows if you will do GCSEs? I didn’t do exceptionally well at GCSEs. I didn’t exactly do well at any

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I stand in front of you I’ll take the force of the blow Protection Something a father should always offer his children. Something I would like to think I offer to my wife; your mum. Sometimes it’s easy to forget how much protection those around us really need. I can mollycoddle you to the point where you will push me away. I can be overly protective of your mum to the point where people would accuse me of trying to lord over her – not letting her be her own person. That’s a lie, in so much as your mum would quite frankly ignore me if I was being overly protective, but you’ll understand the reasoning at some point. Then there are times when you

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Some days are close to being perfect. When everything we do is in unison, in harmony – in a total understanding of what makes us feel right. Other days are not so. Those are the days when we let our frustrations get the better of us. Where we raise our voices, our ire, and we clash like jagged rocks falling from cliffs, in to a turbulent whirl pool – in the angry seas below (too much?). There are reasons for this. You mum will allude to the fact that I get easily frustrated. That I more often than not approach situations in a negative bent. That rather than come down to your level , I might increase the size of my frame – as though

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I’ve had an epiphany. I’m not sure when it happened. It could have been whilst reading back through my previous letters to you, or whilst listening to Danny Baker’s Desert Island Disc show (none of which may mean the slightest thing to you) – it might even have been whilst reading you, your dinosaur book. Either way, what struck me with my epiphany is that no matter how much I pretend that I do not try to mould you – it is pretty clear that through these letters, the story books I buy – the manner in which I speak to you are all part of a wider plan. I want you to be a you, that is a you, you may not necessarily want

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Yesterday we sat around a table eating food with people we call friends. It was the second Sunday in succession that we’ve had reason to do that. Some of those friends we get to see on a weekly or at least monthly basis. Others, we haven’t seen – or may not see for years. Yet we still use the same word to describe them – to categorise their presence within our lives; to mark the special relationship we share. I’ve written to you about the importance family will play in your life. I think my view of family is often dictated by the hours of Irish/Italian American themed TV programmes I watch – positioning myself as the patriarch of a big family – that brings

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As I sit here listening to Daphne “Change” (great track by the way, you’ll love it – or at least I will try to encourage you to love it), it’s starting to occur to me that change is somewhat dominating our lives at the moment. We watch a cartoon called Humf, where the main character this morning proclaimed his sheer delight at the fact he could change his mind on the things he likes. Obviously the lyrics of the record I’m listening to are all about people changing their minds – I even opted for a beer from the fridge, when I had initially gone to the kitchen for a glass of wine before I started to write this. But then those examples of change

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… Eat bubbles! A simple statement – said by you to Hooch our dog, as she chased around the garden after a bee. A bee so engorged by a feast of nectar from our neighbour’s garden, that it could barely lift itself above and beyond the snapping jaws of the chasing hound. There is clearly context to this episode – for Hooch likes to eat, or at least pop bubbles as they float around the house – blown either by you or the machine that gives amusement to you both. They can’t taste nice. We did buy bacon flavour bubble liquid, though I’m not sure if that’s advisable for either of you. So as Hooch tried in vain to capture, and then eat the partially

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