Love (of) Letters


“Send me your address, and I’ll write you a letter.

A year or so ago, I tossed this offer out to my Facebook friends. As much as I like the immediacy of email and easy interaction of chat, I miss my younger days when I wrote real letters. I used to keep a list of “news” on hand for the next time I wrote to one of my many pen pals.

A few people took me up on the offer. I handwrote the letters, addressed the envelopes, and mailed them.And here’s the coolest part:

They wrote back.

These letters are a highlight in my life. I love opening the mailbox and seeing my handwritten name on the envelope. One friend has small, neat cursive. Another writes in large, exuberant letters across the page. Sometimes they draw little pictures in the middle of the letter, and sometimes the paper is a little cockeyed because a little one practiced her scissor skills. My own letters tend to wander off my notecard onto an extra notebook page.

We’ve exchanged several now. We often take weeks to respond, and the letters aren’t long. We talk about daily life with kids, homeschooling, and hobbies; we tell a little bit about how we grew up and where we came from; and then we run out of space and squeeze our names in the bottom corner of the paper.

I got to go on a business trip with my husband… I’m learning to let go of my perfection and understand my kids better… I’m doing a book promotion for the first time and am only slightly freaked out about it… Nothing of great import, just everyday life. My biographers aren’t going pay my estate handsomely to get access to these letters. (But I keep them in their own box, just in case…)

Last week I got two letters. As I sat reading one, Sparkler noticed. “Oh, is that from one of your penpals, Mom?”

“Yes,” I smiled. And I jotted down a few bits of “news” to include when I was ready to write back.


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