Ahead of Mother’s Day next month, our founder has penned a letter to her two girls. A year ago, she published her first book, GRACE MOTHERS Letters To Our Children, in which mothers from all over the world did exactly this. Finally, in the middle of a pandemic, she found the time to do the same and has shared it here...
We want to encourage you also to use this time to write a letter to your children that they can read one day, and you can tell them about this time in history. A time none of us could have possibly imagined, but that will teach us more than we know. If you’d like your letter published on The Grace Tales, please email it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, because it’s Mother’s Day and right now, we all need a bit of pampering, Georgie has edited down her favourite new jewellery pieces from one of our favourite brands Pandora, which she’s wearing in these special photos taken by her dear friend Julie Adams.
Happy ISO Mother’s Day from us to you, and we can’t wait to read your letters.
Photography: Julie Adams | In association with Pandora
To my girls Arabella and Lottie,
A year ago, I wrote a book entitled GRACE MOTHERS Letters To Our Children. I wrote and edited over 80 letters that women had penned to their children. I was so busy working on the book, I never got around to writing you a letter. When I was younger, I loved letter writing and I’d always have a journal. I spent a lot of my 20s travelling, and I’d spend hours in Internet cafes writing letters home to my family and friends (you won’t remember this time, but we used to live happily without digital devices – no Instagram or Facebook or TikTok – and if I needed to send a letter via email, I’d go into an Internet café). I’d sit on trains or buses, writing away in my journals. I used to dream a lot. I’d dream about the kind of life I wanted. In my dreams, I always wanted to become a mother. You, my darlings, are a dream come true for me.
“ I used to dream a lot. I’d dream about the kind of life I wanted. In my dreams, I always wanted to become a mother. You, my darlings, are a dream come true for me ”
Georgie wears Pandora Infinity Knot Chain Necklace, $179, with Sparkling Infinity Heart Hanging Charm, $79, Moments Barrel Clasp Snake Chain Bracelet, $89, Infinity Knot Chain Bracelet, $149, Infinity Knot Bangle, $99. Bedhead from Heatherly Design
My career was always important, too. Ever since I was little, my dream was to work in fashion magazines. I doubt you’ll ever read a magazine, although I hope you continue to read books, because Arabella, right now, you’re an avid reader and I adore this about you. You’ve just finished the entire Harry Potter series and you’re 7! But when I was growing up, I spent hours absorbed in the pages of magazines. I was a creative and curious child. I was determined too, and I set about achieving my goal of working in magazines. I ended up becoming the deputy editor of Australian VOGUE. I hope you write all your dreams down and know that they can come true.
When I was 18, I finished school, put my backpack on and flew to London with one of my friends from school. Her name was Jessica and she had the prettiest strawberry blonde hair and I adored her. We shared a love of photography and for the next year, there was rarely a moment where our camera wasn’t by our side. We worked in London at a newly launched bar as cocktail waitresses, which involved long, fun-filled nights serving drinks – and then set off for Europe and Asia. I can say that year was one of the happiest of my life and I hope that you are filled with as much wanderlust as I am. Travel will bring such sparkle to your life – so it as often as you can and I promise you’ll never regret jumping on a plane.
What I want to instil in you, more than anything, is determination. You’ll need lots of it to succeed in life. My parents – your Nanny and Papa – gave me determination. I heard “no” time and again in life. You’ll hear “no” a lot too, but trust me when I say that it only makes the yeses more spectacular. There was always a little voice in my head that told me I couldn’t do it. I wasn’t good enough. I ignored it, put my head down, and worked hard. I did this at school, in my degree in media and communications and then when I started working in media. Be determined and be consistent too – I’ll tell you this over and over, but you really can achieve anything you want to if you just work at it.
One of the reasons I’m writing to you now, is because we have all been given the gift of time. We’re in the middle of a global pandemic. I’m not sure if you’ll remember this time of your life. It’s called COVID-19 and it’s a virus which has affected over half a million people around the world. There is immense sadness and suffering in the world right now. You don’t see it – there is still magic in your little worlds and I want to keep it that way. You call it “the corona” and don’t really understand what it means. It’s the school holidays and we’re at home, in isolation. It has been the most challenging few weeks of my career, but as the days pass, I can see all the rainbows that are appearing. We live such busy lives, we’re more connected than ever before, and that means we’re usually rushing. From school to activities to dinner to bed. Most days feel like a marathon. As a working mother, I’m often flipping between being your mother and being a business owner. Since this pandemic began, after the initial grief over what was happening to my business and also your father’s business, we have started to slow down. We eat dinner together every night. We sit together and talk. We read. We go to the park together every day. Through pausing, we’re more connected now than ever before.
The photos that I’ve enclosed in this letter were taken for my business The Grace Tales, by a dear friend and incredibly talented photographer Julie Adams. I left my dream job at VOGUE, something I never thought I’d do, after you arrived Lottie. I’d started The Grace Tales as a passion project, because I was so curious about this new world of motherhood, which I knew nothing about. When you came along, both prematurely (Arabella you were born at 34 weeks and Lottie, 33 weeks), my entire world changed. I craved a career that would give me more flexibility and while I still pinch myself that I got to fly around the world to attend Chanel fashion shows, I knew that chapter had closed. Now I’m a business owner which means I carry all the stress and sleepless nights of running a business, but I also get to see your faces at the school gate (Lottie you run as fast as you can to me and jump into my arms when you see me – my heart explodes every single time).
Arabella, you are smart, kind, loving, thoughtful and calm, just like your dad. Just the other day, you came up to me with a drawing that said, “cheer up”. And then another one. This time, a rainbow, that said “everything’s going to be ok.” You are always so in tune with how I’m feeling and will say things like “mum, thank you for all you do for us”. At night, your favourite thing to do is to read your books next to me in bed. You’re also a Scorpio, like your Nanny, who we all adore. Lottie, you’re funny, determined, outgoing, and light up a room with your character. You bring so much sunshine to our lives. You both love nothing more than being with your mum and dad.
Georgie wears Sparkling Infinity Stud Earrings, $69, Small O Pendant, $79 with Curb Chain Necklace, $179 and Charms from $69 each, Moments Barrel Clasp Snake Chain Bracelet, $199, Square Sparkle Open Bangles, $229 each
I never knew what kind of mother I was going to be. For the most part, I’m terribly impatient, and I’m sorry about that. Luckily, your dad is incredibly patient. But what I lack in patience, I make up for in love. You’ll never really understand the love I have for you, until you have children of your own. When you both arrived, life finally made sense. You didn’t come easily, especially you Lottie. We spent three months on bed rest together, when you were in my tummy. And then, when you were six weeks old, I experienced a post-partum haemorrhage. I needed five blood transfusions. There were moments where I wasn’t sure if I would live and the thought of not being there for you was the most frightened I’ve ever been. This is one of the reasons we’ll always be a family of four – my days of having babies are done. Which is marvellous, because I enjoy you more now, as little girls, than I did as babies. You’ve turned into two best friends for me and I love our daily chatter. I’ve never felt more content in my life – the two of you are perfect to me. You’re more than I’ve ever wanted and sometimes, I can’t believe you’re here.
Girls, I hope you travel far and wide. I hope you visit Germany and Sri Lanka again and explore these countries, which are where your Oma and Opa are from. Remember not to worry too much about what other people think of you – you can waste years caring what people think and life’s just too short. Work hard and do your best and that will always be good enough. Love yourself – this is a big one because we are often our own worst critics. It takes work and it’s something that comes more naturally over time. Be kind and generous to people. Surround yourself with kind, real people who ground you and lift you up. The special ones who have your back, because some won’t. And remember that your Dad and I love you more than you know and will always be here for you.
All my love,