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I miss seeing your face in the mornings.~ Love and hugs, Mom

You won’t believe how much weight she’s lost this past year!~ Loads of love, M

I can’t wait till April, when I can see you again.~ Tons of hugs, V

How I miss receiving a handwritten letter through the post! That twinge of anticipation, succeeded by uncontrolled glee when you see your name, scrawled by a loved one by hand, is pure, veritable joy!

Back in the day, before the advent of the now-ubiquitous e-mail, I used to write and receive letters, birthday cards, little love notes and secret messages scribbled in haste. I had the worst handwriting possible, but that never stopped me from writing, nor did it , in any way, stem the flow of responses from my loyal letter-writing companions.

My days Β spent in a college dormitory were made better , as I waited for each Friday, to bring me that reassuring letter from mom. My years away from good friends were soothed by the regular rounds of witty and naughty updates from them. My few weeks apart from my beloved were enhanced by his faithful, regular and uncharacteristically long letters, which I have preserved to this day!

As I watch Gy grow up in the gadget era, I realise that there is one thing that she will never know.

She will never know the fidgeting impatience of a 10-year-old, hopping from one foot to the other, waiting for the postman to arrive with the birthday cards.

She will never experience the heart-stopping moment where she opens the door to a telegram being delivered.

And she will never sense that feverish eagerness of young love, exchanging letters of longing while the two hearts are apart.

All she needs to do now is click on a text message or an e-mail. Don’t get me wrong; I am all for change. I believe in saving the environment and using lesser paper, as a consequence.

But I don’t want her to lose her sense of wonder. I want her to feel that moment of absolute joy, when she gets an unexpected, handwritten note. I want her to touch and savour the written word, as it stares back at her from a loving sheet of paper.

And, so, every once in a while, I slip a note into her bag, her pencil-case or her snack box, making sure she is in the dark Β about the whole plan.

By Hand: A handwritten note can convey so much more than a typed response ever can. Do you write notes to your kids?

The day I sent this note, she came home, beaming, and gave me a bear hug. She said that ‘everyone at her table’ wanted to read the note.

I know that letter-writing is a dying art. I know that we have very little time to sit and write things by hand. And yet, if we can make the effort, every now and then, maybe, just maybe, we can carve a bigger piece in our child’s happy memories.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Comments

comments


52 Comments

tulika singh · February 12, 2014 at 6:13 pm

Aww this is too sweet!!

Shailaja V · February 12, 2014 at 6:15 pm

Wow, that was fast! I haven't even shared the post yet πŸ˜€ Thanks, Tulika. I was thinking of this today, when I actually sat and wrote out some homework exercises for Gy this evening.

Deanna · February 12, 2014 at 7:33 pm

This is so sweet! I used to love it when my mom left me notes and the art of writing by hand and mailing letters is sadly becoming extinct. I agree about the conservation, but I also love a real letter.

Deanna
http://mymutedvoice.com

twinkletoesandninjaboy.com · February 12, 2014 at 9:26 pm

I love leaving notes for my kids, too. This past winter I had an illness that prevented me from traveling with them on our annual road trip to see my husband's family. While home alone for 6 days I was really bored so I cut out silly shapes and wrote corresponding messages on them (An ant with the message “it bugs me when we are apart”, etc) and now I put them in their lunch boxes once a week. Those are always the days I get the best hugs and kisses when they get home from school!

Michelle Longo · February 12, 2014 at 11:58 pm

I love that your daughter loved the note. That's the difference between boys and girls I think. I recently sent my son a note and when I asked if he had seen it (because he said nothing about it), he said he had seen it and that I don't need to do that ever again. Kids…

Natalie DeYoung · February 13, 2014 at 2:16 am

Ah I'm a sucker for handwritten notes, and I'm sad my kids won't know the joys of waiting for letters to come in the mail. I like that you're making sure your daughter knows the pleasures of a handwritten note. πŸ™‚

Kristin · February 13, 2014 at 2:40 am

I find actual cards and notes so very special. In this age of the evite, I have tried to use REAL invitations, that require REAL replies. I used to leave notes in my son's lunch, but I've stopped. Maybe it's something that needs to start up again. πŸ™‚

Stacie · February 13, 2014 at 3:48 am

I used to love getting care packages in college. And writing notes. It's great that your daughter appreciates it. Michelle is right, boys are different (at least most of them)!

Nimmy · February 13, 2014 at 5:17 am

You are awesome. Please continue to be as thoughtful as you are. πŸ™‚
Unfortunately, I can't think of any situation wherein I could demand such notes from you or for that matter anyone else these days! πŸ˜€ heheheee.

Kim at Awkward Laughter · February 13, 2014 at 5:44 am

So sweet! I used to write notes and cards to my friends and family, especially my grandmother, all of the time. Now I have a box of leftover stationary and cards that may never be sent. Your post makes me want to rethink that. πŸ™‚

goodnightalready.com · February 13, 2014 at 6:00 am

My mom used to put notes in my lunch every day. Somehow, I've never thought to do that for my own son. Thanks for bringing it all back.

Ranu 802 · February 13, 2014 at 11:56 am

It's a very sweet post. I agree letter wring and receiving was a great thing.

aishasoasis · February 13, 2014 at 3:02 pm

Now I do this by posting quick notes on their facebook pages, and they still love it but if they were young I love your idea of notes in the lunchbox!

Jen Brunett · February 13, 2014 at 3:41 pm

That is super sweet! My oldest can finally read I can't wait to do this! Until recently they've just been pictures in the lunch boxes. And I'm a terrible artist! Ha ha

Shailaja V · February 13, 2014 at 5:10 pm

Thanks Deanna! Yes, I still dream that I will get a letter through the post one day. Now, all I get are bills …sigh.

Shailaja V · February 13, 2014 at 5:11 pm

What a great idea! 'Bugs me when we are apart'. That is a classic. I would love for you to share more ideas!

Shailaja V · February 13, 2014 at 5:12 pm

Ha ha ha! Interestingly, another friend with a son, said the same thing on my facebook page today. Apparently, she is only allowed to put in notes with 'Dino' facts and nothing 'weird' or 'mushy'.

Shailaja V · February 13, 2014 at 5:13 pm

What little I can do, I love doing πŸ™‚ Hope these things stay with her for a long time…

Shailaja V · February 13, 2014 at 5:14 pm

How sweet! I like the fact that you use real invites. Yep, totally need to restart the lunchbox notes. They are always a hit, or at least I think they are πŸ˜‰

Shailaja V · February 13, 2014 at 5:14 pm

I am happy that she does too. I have also resorted to putting in reminders about her homework on those notes. Those, she hides from her friends πŸ˜‰

Shailaja V · February 13, 2014 at 5:15 pm

I actually got the idea from another food blogger, who mentioned this in one of her posts. I tried it out a few times and it has always been a hit! And what note would you like from me? Ask and I shall try to comply πŸ™‚

Shailaja V · February 13, 2014 at 5:16 pm

Why don't you surprise someone with a card through the mail? Good way to use those leftover cards πŸ™‚

Shailaja V · February 13, 2014 at 5:18 pm

You totally should πŸ™‚ And you are welcome!

Shailaja V · February 13, 2014 at 5:20 pm

Thank you Ranu πŸ™‚

Shailaja V · February 13, 2014 at 5:23 pm

Thanks Aisha πŸ™‚

Shailaja V · February 13, 2014 at 5:24 pm

As am I. I suck at writing too, which is why I stick to all CAPS when writing. My cursive is worse than a cat trying to scratch its way across the paper!

Christie Tate · February 13, 2014 at 9:42 pm

I needed this touch of sweetness today.

TMW Hickman · February 14, 2014 at 12:13 am

So very adorable! You're right about kids today not knowing the joy of getting a letter in the mail. So sad…

Jagdeeshwari Hari · February 14, 2014 at 12:51 am

That was very sweet. I used to do that for my hubby but after reading your blog did it for my 6 yr old girl….just waiting for reaction this afternoon πŸ™‚

Angela Ryan · February 14, 2014 at 2:07 am

Love this! So sweet! I remember how I anticipated letters and packages in college too. My aunt still makes homemade valentines for me (at 35 years old) and now my children. They just got theirs in the mail today, and their tiny toddler faces lit up. It's too bad it's a dying art indeed.

Shailaja V · February 14, 2014 at 4:15 am

I know. It really hit home when she asked me what outfit a postman wears!

Shailaja V · February 14, 2014 at 4:16 am

Lovely! Let me know how she reacted!

Rachna · February 14, 2014 at 5:37 am

This is just too sweet! A note in the child's lunchbox, should I try that?

Shailaja V · February 14, 2014 at 5:38 am

Yes, you absolutely must! It's very satisfying πŸ™‚

mindbrewblog · February 14, 2014 at 5:47 am

Shailaja, your post brought back old memories… I have saved them… cards from my best friend, letters we wrote to each other when she moved to boarding school, my first longest ever letter (in a 100 page notebook) to my then boyfriend-now husband πŸ™‚ Those were lovely days. Thanks for this post πŸ™‚

Shailaja V · February 14, 2014 at 5:58 am

A reason they're called the good old days, right? Happy that you liked it, Gauri πŸ™‚

Shailaja V · February 14, 2014 at 8:27 am

Glad I could brighten up your day, Christie!

Shailaja V · February 14, 2014 at 8:28 am

The thrill of opening packages will never fade! And how cute is your aunt! Making those valentines πŸ™‚

Roshni · February 14, 2014 at 11:12 pm

Letter writing is definitely a pleasurable activity that everyone should indulge in! I hope she also starts sending small notes like that back to you and her dad!!

Chai a cup of life · February 15, 2014 at 5:54 am

That's lovely and a great idea. I suppose in schools now they don't pass notes in class while the teacher is not looking. Rather they would send text messages on their mobiles! Sweet post, nice to connect with you.

Shailaja V · February 17, 2014 at 2:35 am

She does write little notes, but mostly to her friends right now πŸ™‚

Shailaja V · February 17, 2014 at 2:35 am

Nice to connect with you as well! Ha, the note-passing still exists πŸ™‚ At least in the lower grades.

Nimmy · February 18, 2014 at 5:36 am

So sweet. Nah. It must be a surprise no? No pressure! *evil grin*
Just pulling your leg…..I'll go blackmail the people I get to meet. πŸ˜›

Shailaja V · February 18, 2014 at 8:13 am

Ha ha ha.. trust you to do that πŸ˜‰

Reema D'souza · June 25, 2014 at 5:25 am

How sweet! Letters are indeed so special. Till I was a 11 or 12 year old girl I used to get cards for my birthdays. I never used to get any other mail as telephones had communication easier. How I waited for those birthday cards. I still have few of those. And then text messages and emails started. For my last b'day my friend sent me a handmade greeting card and trust me that was the best gift I ever received on my birthday πŸ™‚

Pratibha · June 25, 2014 at 5:57 am

So beautiful! I think I should start doing this for my boys too.

Red Handed · June 25, 2014 at 6:13 am

what a wonderful idea!!!! Who wouldnt want to find a secret note like that! You are one awesome mother.

Shailaja V · June 25, 2014 at 6:44 am

I still have the handmade cards made by my daughter's friends for the birthday last year. Amazing what pleasures we get out of the simplest of things!

Shailaja V · June 25, 2014 at 6:46 am

I am sure they'll love it, Pratibha πŸ™‚

Shailaja V · June 25, 2014 at 6:47 am

He he he. Not sure if I am an awesome mother, but it certainly feels wonderful to see her smile on those days, Red πŸ™‚

Kathy Combs · June 26, 2014 at 2:11 am

Awwww!! When I packed my kids school lunches every now and then I would slip a note in. I got the same reaction. The hugs when they came home were well worth the effort. β™₯

Shilpa Gupte · June 25, 2015 at 6:53 am

Awww! That is the sweetest thing a mom can do for her babies! <3 And, yes, letter writing is a dying art, which the future generations will never know about. We sure were lucky, weren't we, S? I remember, long back, I too tried slipping in a note in hubby's tiffin. But, then stopped coz he said he had to give his tiffin to his colleagues if he had to go to meet his clients for lunch. πŸ™‚

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