The morning ritual through Bob's eyes

 

Sometimes there were notes written about writing the notes. The two notes below express what this ritual gave to Bob: peace, solitude, an opportunity for contemplation, and hope that at least some of his words would resonate with his children.

 
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You have no idea how peaceful it is to sit at the kitchen table with a candle or two burning and a cup of coffee in front of you and a pen in hand ready to write. I love getting up ahead of everyone and having that hour to myself and my thoughts. It's very helpful, meditative way to start the day. It gives me a chance to think about myself, about you and Theo and mom. And writing to you gives me another chance. A chance to connect with you - share my thoughts - my life with you. A chance to give you something of my private self. Without feedback of any kind which is a plus and a minus but hey - that's life. I love you.

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Every single person alive today (and whoever has or ever will live) has to have faith - faith in themselves, faith in God, faith that the sun will come up in the morning, faith that they will have time in their lives to accomplish what they want - all kinds of faith. I've been writing you notes every school day since you could barely read and I do it with the faith that they mean something to you (like they do to me) and that you read most of them (maybe all, who knows?) If you think back you'll probably notice that I really only write about a few different things and mostly about having faith in yourself, working hard to be the best you can be and not giving up. So believe in yourself Theo. Work hard and don't give up! I love you so much!

D.I.Y. Paper footballs

 

When Joanna and Theo moved onto middle school, lunch boxes became a thing of the past. Bob had to find a new way to deliver the notes every day, and began folding them up into little triangles (the paper football).

 
 STEP 1: Lay a 6" x 9" piece of paper out.

STEP 1: Lay a 6" x 9" piece of paper out.

 STEP 2: Fold the note in half (horizontally - keeping the drawing / writing on the outside), and then in half again (also horizontally).

STEP 2: Fold the note in half (horizontally - keeping the drawing / writing on the outside), and then in half again (also horizontally).

 STEP 3: Starting from the top-left side, fold the corner down into a triangle making a point at the bottom-left. Fold that point across and then up so there is a point at the top-left corner. Flip paper around so the flap is on the right, face up.

STEP 3: Starting from the top-left side, fold the corner down into a triangle making a point at the bottom-left. Fold that point across and then up so there is a point at the top-left corner. Flip paper around so the flap is on the right, face up.

 STEP 4: Make two tiny folds on the right side.   

STEP 4: Make two tiny folds on the right side.

 

 STEP 5: Tuck the tiny folds on the right side into the larger triangle pocket that's been created.

STEP 5: Tuck the tiny folds on the right side into the larger triangle pocket that's been created.

 STEP 6: Leave for kids - hope they take the note off the counter, place into their pocket, and read during the day. Maybe even play some paper football!

STEP 6: Leave for kids - hope they take the note off the counter, place into their pocket, and read during the day. Maybe even play some paper football!

Scratch paper / writing tablets / documentation

 

As time passed, Bob experimented with new ways to track his daily notes. On the back covers of his writing pads, he would test out new colors from his box of markers and jot down brief phrases that might send a spark of inspiration as he began anew each day.

 
 
 
 
we work in the dark
we do what we can
we give what we have
— Henry James