11 August 2010
Old School Letter Writing, Part One
Have to share with you the fun we had this afternoon. But first a background story. A couple of months ago The Little Bug was starting to really understand and enjoy writing the alphabet. She began writing random letters of the alphabet on paper and then asking me to read them. Since they made no logical sense to me I couldn't.
She got very upset with me because she felt I was tricking her because she knows I can read so I should be able to make sense of the letters in the alphabet. It was a tense moment, as she began to cry as I continued again and again to try to guess what she intended the letters to mean. We're still having a little problem with that but she's a little more willing now to tell me what she's written...THANK GOODNESS!
About the same time she wrote an entire page of the letter T. I told her that my sister's name starts with T. She knows T well and adores her, so she got very excited when I told her this. She said, "We should send this to her!" I knew T would crack up to get a small sheet of paper with penciled Ts all over it. I suggested we write a note on the back and then find an envelope (we were out of town at the time) and mail it to her.
Here's is a close estimation to how the note went:
Your name starts with T. I am learning to write t, t, t. I love you and like you. I miss you. I love you. I hope you are well. I am having fun. I love you. Do you love me? I miss you. I hope to see you soon.
The Little Bug and I then went to the convenience store next door and asked if they sold envelopes. The kind attendant said no. I said, "Darn we only need one. We'll run up the street and get some." He replied, "Oh, I'm sure we have one around here we can just give you." Moments later we left the store with lovely ice cream treats and a clean white envelope.
We went back to our lodging and wrote the addresses on the envelope. The Little Bug was so excited. We even took a picture and she is beaming standing holding up the first letter she would send in her little life. Next we went in search of mailbox. I checked with the front desk and they had a drop box right there. So I let Bug put the letter in the box and she jumped up and down with excitement and ran all the way back to tell her dad all about mailing her first letter. A few days later we received word from my sister that she loved the little letter she received in the mail.
I am sad to see letter writing and the joy of walking to the mailbox dying in this country. When I was a girl I wrote letters back and forth with my cousin who was my same age. It was a terrific experience. My mom teased us because every letter started with "How are you? I am fine." As an adult I got into a period of very regular correspondence with my grandmother for a period of about 5 months, then she died suddenly. I treasure those letters from her last days.
Sending real mail is one of the best gifts you can give people who you love. A lovely letter in the mail makes everyone's day. Teaching children the joy of letter writing is something completely unique to them in the world of computers that we now live in.
To create something by hand, put it in an envelope, add a stamp, maybe draw a picture on the side, walk them to the mailbox...these are things children LOVE to do! It's also a great opportunity to help them think of others, to show love, to be of kindness and service to others. I'll share more about Bug's latest letter writing adventures in Part Two.