Did you know that I can recognize your voice as a newborn? Even before I am born, I can hear the sounds around me. When I am only minutes old, I will turn toward my mother’s voice over other sounds around me. I will turn toward the other people in my life who have been talking to me routinely before I was born. I will continue to love to listen to you talk to me as I grow up. Of course, it is harder to do when you are deployed. You can keep talking to me when you are away by recording several messages for me before you leave. You can continue to record messages for me to listen to by recording a message on our answering machine, on your cell phone, or on an inexpensive tape recorder to be played by another grown-up who loves me. It is really nice if listening to your message becomes part of our daily routine while you are away, perhaps hearing you share something with me when I wake up, and again as I get ready for bed. If you don’t know what to say, I have lots of ideas! You can read stories to me, or sing lullabies. You can tell me about the day I was born or the things you want to do with me when you get home. You can tell me your favorite story or what you hope for our family. You can tell me about what you remember from when you were little. Just talk to me, and I will listen. I will learn how much you love me from hearing your voice and staying connected with you while you are away.