Letters to My Children


Russell Bittner writes a series of stream-of-consciousness letters to his two children, Christopher and Alexandra,  to record their years from birth to eighteen.  He wants to, “...recall, as accurately as possible, the physical, moral and cognitive development of my two children year by year, and blow by blow.”  He pens a family history that Chris and Alex can look back on as a compass about the roots and experiences from which they have sprung.

 While “Letters to My Children” starts out being a father's observations about his children, it  morphs into a fascinating insight into a man's perspectives on child rearing, marriage, divorce, education, sports, jobs, unemployment, relationships, hobbies, and advice on life.   A divorce from their mother Vera early on is a low note.  However, Mr. Bittner has an enduring love for his children, and works hard to stay in their lives.   He is unlucky in love, and his unsuccessful relationships punctuate the tale with highs and lows.  

“Letters to My Children”  chronicles the mindset of a father raising two children as a divorced parent, grappling with typical parenting concerns while trying to be present.  The story frequently devolves into a monologue, which can become tedious.  But, the author's observations are insightful, making one wish everyone might have the beautiful gift of such thoughts from  as a loving parent.  “Letters to My Children”  offers an engaging look at the father's role in the modern family.

Victoria Z. Burg