One summer, at Camp Ernst, I became friends with a girl who lived in Germany! I can’t recall how or why she ended up in little old Burlington, Kentucky, for summer camp, but I do remember thinking it was so cool to meet someone who lived in a completely different part of the world. I wanted to know more about her life in Germany, so just before camp ended, we exchanged addresses with hopes of keeping our international friendship going.
We wrote back and forth many times and I remember being SO excited when I ran to the mailbox and found something addressed to me, especially since it came all the way from Germany! Living somewhere else seemed so exotic! We wrote about our day to day lives – school, activities, favorites, dislikes, and family. To my amazement, life in Germany wasn’t much different or more exotic than my simple life in Kentucky. Over time, my camp friend and I lost touch, and I also lost my love of mail.
Many years have passed, and I had all but forgotten about the wonder and excitement of the mailbox. Dread would set in as nothing but bills and junk filled the box. Every once in a while a catalogue with a coupon would get my attention … but really Bed Bath and Beyond? Why not just lower your prices instead of waste so much paper every single month with the same exact coupon? Anywho, I’d rustle out to our mailbox, and quickly flip through the days mail. “Boring,” I’d say to myself, and I’d throw it on the counter for my husband to deal with (love you, dear!).
Then my mother-in-law began writing my sweet sons little love notes in the mail. And then the dudes’ auntie wrote them some cute cards, too! I didn’t feel bothered to get the mail anymore! In fact, I felt the same feeling of excitement I did as a child when I saw the mailman drop off our loot. “Do you think we have mail mommy?” my son would ask. “I hope so!” Of course we’d have mail, but I understood he meant FUN mail. I’d excitedly flip through the mail and look for our address written in familiar handwriting.
When I heard Dominic’s friends mother saying her son loved mail, too, I figured it would be fun for my son and his school friend to exchange some old fashioned snail mail! After talking to Dominic’s friend’s momma, we agreed to help our kiddos send some mail to one another. It may seem trivial to send mail to someone who lives close enough that you could probably walk to their house, but hey! Stamp prices are going down, and it may spark a love of writing in your kiddo!
Dominic was ecstatic to get his first piece of mail from his friend! He opened it up and to his surprise, his friend sent him a card AND some temporary tattoos. We thought about what to write back, and we asked his friend if he’d like to come to our house for a play date soon. Dominic wrote out his friend’s name and dolled up the card with some stickers. It was a fun activity and he worked hard on his writing skills. He was proud of his work and we skipped merrily to the mailbox when we dropped off the envelope!
In a world of dreaded bills and junk mail, it’s nice to remember what the post can be – a way of letting a friend know you’re thinking of them. I encourage you and your kiddos to send out some snail mail soon. Make mail fun again!