I love mail. Like Steve from Blue Clue’s, I look forward to checking the mailbox with unreasonable giddiness each day.
Our friendly mail carrier knows which small box out of the hefty bank of them belongs to us. She knows my kids, and she knows my sexy minivan.
Postage and stationary are standard line items in our household budget, unique or clever notecards right up there with shoes for me– retail kryptonite. With seemingly endless opportunities to pen thank-you notes, and regular friendly correspondence, we always have outgoing mail.
As a child I harassed each of my cousins into being pen-pals, going so far as to mail them unused stamps and stationary to encourage their correspondence. Normally a minimalist, I’ve tucked away every letter and doodle that Handsome Husband has ever penned me. I’ve always been a word-nerd.
Come to think of it, I might actually prefer hand-written correspondence to in-person dialogue. Whereas face-to-face I awkwardly stumble over my words, oft repeating myself, a hand-written note miraculously enables me to be concise and articulate. I can compliment a friend without her knee-jerk humble dismissal. I can express myself without chasing sentiments with an anxious, “Is that weird??”
There is power and permanency in written words, they carry irrefutable weight. I find that putting ink to paper requires a degree of forethought and intention that texting, Facebook, or even email can lack.
I want my kids to relish the opportunity to write a personalized note, and not just for the obvious things… they write thank yous for every play-date, house-guest, gift, or gesture. I want them to be generous with their words of affirmation, encouragement, praise, and gratitude.
For my kiddos it’s not merely about etiquette, or rote obligation, but a tangible opportunity to live out the Golden Rule. Additional grammar, penmanship, spelling and vocab lessons an added homeschool bonus, but don’t tell them that. 😉