Being a committed parent is so important – whether that means dedicating time to spend playing with your child or helping them with school work, or simply reminding them that you love them.
One army dad felt it was incredibly important that his little girl knew how much she meant to him. Even when he was on deployment, he wanted her to know that he was thinking of her always.
So he hatched a plan: to write 270 notes, one for each day he was away, to put in his daughter’s lunch box.
Staff Sergeant Philip Gray, of Fort Drum, New York, left for deployment in Afghanistan in October 2019, and made sure to take care of his plan before flying out of the country.
It was actually his wife’s idea for him to write 270 notes for his daughter, Rosie, and Philip jumped at the opportunity.
He hand-wrote every single note, writing things like ‘You are super girl’ and ‘Smiling makes everyone else smile’.
Kristen Gray told Good Morning America that her husband focused on the things that would make their daughter happy, and was “very big on feel-good words for her and girl power”.
Many of Philip’s notes also featured images, and unsurprisingly, he estimated it took him about a week of writing between 30 and 40 notes per day to complete the collection.
Kristen says that Philip’s notes are typical of his character – he often hides notes around the house when he’s away.
“Actually, before we were even married he would leave some little notes for me whether it was — just like in the kitchen or next to the bed, but especially after we had Rosie and he would go away for training, whether it was like days, weeks, months, it always came at just the right time,”
Philip is now back home with his wife and his daughter after safely completing his mission. Speaking on the Kelly Clarkson Show, Philip said that he’d made it back three days before his daughter’s birthday, which was a “big plus”.
When asked which were her favorites, Rosie had a few prepared.
“Always smile. It makes everyone else smile,” “Have a great day bug” and “Love you.”
Philip’s notes are a perfect example of dedicated fatherhood – but they pose an important question: why should we only remind our loved ones that we care about them when we’re away?
Even if you’re not an army parent like Philip, you could still leave your children special notes to read at school or in the mornings at the breakfast table.
Of course, if you can hug them close and tell them in person how much you love them, that’s even better.
We all lead such busy lives that it can be hard to find time for these small, meaningful commitments.
But it can be incredibly rewarding to make time out of your day to show somebody that you care – whatever that looks like to you.
We should all take a leaf out of Phillip’s book and write a loving note to the people we care about today.
Whether that means sending a text or doing it the old-fashioned way, there are plenty of ways to get the message across.
You can watch the inspiring interview with Philip and his family in the video below.
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