Yesterday, we hosted a petite tea party for our 8-year-old. Unlike other birthday parties, I kept thinking last night,"Something has changed. She just seems so much more grown up." Of course, those of you who've interacted with our daughter know that she's been an old soul from the beginning: 8 going on 38. She could write her name at age 2, could read at age 4 and can prepare a whole dinner plus dessert by herself. She knows how to ask the deep theological questions--the ones that leave her daddy and me staring at each other. Raising her has never been boring. And she loves to communicate, in verbal and written form.
Over the last several years, I've made a practice of writing letters to her on her birthday. She doesn't know it yet, because she's never received any of them. One day, when she moves out, I'll hand them all to her and say, "Remember?" Each year, I highlight the growth I've seen in her, the loves, the likes, the passion and remind her over and over again, "You are loved."
It's a simple habit, but one we both value.
A week ago, I was messaging back and forth with a friend who lives in the mountains (the real ones...not the Ozark ones). We were lamenting the lost art of letter writing and how people don't take the time to communicate with depth or intention. Words are abbreviated, condensed into bursts of demands, questions, or thumbs-up icons. Jane Austen would roll in her grave, my dears.
As much as I adore getting old-fashioned mail--yes, the kind you hold in your hand and write with a pen--I love sending letters and cards.
It literally takes 5 minutes, but it can brighten someone's whole day, and turn a relationship around. Writing shows someone, "You matter to me. I thought of you and I wanted to do more than send a text." I'd encourage you to write a note, a letter, send a funny card to someone today: it can be for any reason, but "just because" is always the best. See what sunshine you can spread.