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Letters to Daddy

Communication with my husband on his aircraft carrier can be spotty. We don’t have the luxury of Skype (video conferencing) because their internet connection is basically the speed of dial-up service from 10 years ago. Phone contact is virtually non-existent too, unless they are in port (very rarely). Still, you won’t catch us complaining. When I think about my mother-in-law who got by on telegrams and sporadic letters that took weeks or months to arrive 30 years ago, I am so very grateful for the daily contact that a simple email can provide. There’s something intimate too, about writing to your spouse again. We dated long-distance for the first year of our relationship — and the letters we sent are still something I treasure. There’s something that flows differently in writing for me — with emotions stripped and text laid bare. It’s easier to pour out feelings, secrets and admiration…the written word is powerful and connective. We are SO blessed to have it available each day.

One of the best parts of our daily email is for my son Liam. He receives short videos from daddy, but I encourage him to write as well, and so we do. He just dictates what he wants to say and I type (often furiously if you’ve met him and know how fast he talks). I love that his letters are gushing with love–and show how his young, four-year-old mind is coming to grips with the separation from the person that probably means the most to him in his whole world. I don’t coach him and I don’t censor him, so what he says is just what daddy gets. And, he always adds his own typed “message” at the end along with his name. They bring joy to us, and an occasional tear–but more than anything, a sense of closeness. So while daddy is out of sight, he is never, ever out of our hearts. Especially Liam’s.

Letters to Daddy – from Liam


Hi Daddy

Please come back in another day. I can’t wait to see you — and I like Scooby Doo. And chicalay (ed: chik fil a) is so fun. And I love still my daddy and I can’t wait to see him. Can’t wait to pick him up. And I love you so much.

I was good at school. We made surfborads and people, but miss susan is going to stick people surf on our surfboards. I brought your Navy coin for show and tell.They liked it.

I did bob the builder mazes with mommy and painted them.

I was good at the pizza place. I ate cheese pizza. Then we went to a different playground at the beach. I just surfed on the surfboard and went down the fire pole and played with all my friends.

I love you. goodnight daddy.

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liam (he typed that by himself)



When are you going to come back? Daddy I love you so much. Can you help me to feel better? My daddy is so good. I just went to church and the store and came back home.



Dear Daddy

Please come home. And dear daddy I love you so much. Dear daddy thank you for going on a ship and maybe it’s two or four more days or maybe five. And daddy I love you. And great grandma is still good. And my daddy is working for so long. Let’s sing one more song, “thanks for doing our help….duh duh duh”

Daddy I went to two parties today, the swimming pool, then miss Patricia’s. I swam, jumped of the diving board and slide. There was music and I danced.

At Mrs. Patricia’s we had food and friends. We found a turtle in the yard.

Please send me another video.

I love you



Hi Daddy-
I love you so much and I love you. Mrs Sonia came to my pool today — and I love Mrs Sonia. And I still love you daddy. Whenever you come back I will be happy. And I love you forever and I miss you sooo much. And daddy, please wait to get home and wrestle with me every day when you come back home. And I love you and my daddy is so good. And I pray forever and I love my daddy, and mommy and finn and I love all you guys. And I love you daddy for all the days you give me. And I can’t wait for you to get home because I don’t know when you will come home. And I will wait for you because we are marking off the days. If you give me presents then I will be so happy, and I love you daddy for the rest of the day. And I can’t wait for you to get home. And daddy fly off the ship for a long time before you get home. Now we are going to watch a bedtime story (eta: Mike recorded bedtime stories on video before he left).


  • ingrid - Oh these are so achingly sweet. Precious boy. Thank you for sharing his words with us. I still have a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that he’s 4 and talking now. I still picture him as that wee bitty baby on your back.ReplyCancel

  • Justyna - OMG I’m balling here, Steph!!!! Kyla is same age is Liam and that is just breaking my heart. Sobbing:(ReplyCancel

  • Liz - My heart is swelling for you all. How sweet he is and how blessed you are, my friend. I can only imagine the trials you are facing right now but you are so beautiful (inside and out) and so strong. Sounds like Liam is just like his Mommy and Daddy. Be proud of that fact…ReplyCancel

  • Ingrid - Bless all three of you. And thank you for sharing.ReplyCancel

  • admin - Thank you sweet friends! No need to be teary-eyed for us though 🙂 We are so blessed that he has been home for so long before this, that he is safe on a carrier every night, and that we are able to be in touch via email as often as we are. It’s not easy missing him, but we are having a blast this summer and time is plugging along. Thank you for all of your thoughtful words. xoxoxo, s.ReplyCancel

  • Vy - These are too sweet. My 3 year old is named Liam too (funny because he was almost a Finn!) and I can just hear him talking like your Liam too. My hubby is here every day, but it doesn’t stop Liam from exclaiming, “Daddy, I missed you!” when he sees him after work 🙂 I’ve just come across your site and I LOVE your work!ReplyCancel

  • julie - Tears fill my eyes. The emails are such a treasure. Praying for your husband’s safe and quick return. Please thank him for the work he is doing.ReplyCancel

  • sarah wheeler - what a wonderful, sweet, loving boy!ReplyCancel

  • Beckie M - Stephanie,
    I am so excited that you will be a regular contributor on The Creative Momma. As a fellow military momma and aspiring photog, I look forward to the words of wisdom you have to share. Personally, I cannot wait to have my four kids “write” their own letters to daddy who is deployed for the next year tomorrow morning. What a great idea to help the kids still feel connected even through this separation!ReplyCancel

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