Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Mailbox in the House

When my children were very young, I had trouble keeping up with everything. I had five children from the age of 9 all the way down to newborn, and we were homeschooling. I was busy! I remember Nicole (7) coming up and telling me some marvelous new idea she had. I was in the middle of soothing a fussy baby and said, "Honey, that sounds like something I want to hear all about. But would you please write me a letter about it? I want to take the time to really read it.  I will write you back."

Oh my goodness, that child was excited! She smiled and raced off to get a notebook. A short time later, I had a letter in my hand. I read it while nursing the baby. She kept running over to me and saying, "Did you write back yet?" She was so eager to hear my thoughts! She was thrilled with the idea of getting a letter from mother!

I finally had a bit of quiet time in the early evening. The children had eaten their supper, the baby had been bathed and was sleeping in the bassinet, and my husband was watching television. I re-read Nicole's letter and smiled. I wrote her a long letter back, telling her how happy I was with her idea. I asked her questions (so she would have a reason to write back) and then told her how much I loved her. Of course, I ended the letter with:

"Love Mommy"
PS - W.B.S.

Soon, this letter writing idea caught on. When a child had a problem, I told him to write about it.  If the child had a wish list, she was to write it all down in a letter.  I wrote back, encouraging my children, advising them, and helping them to feel like they were extra special to me. I took the time each night, to write them a private letter just for them.

Next, we decided to make a mailbox in the house.  This was placed on a shelf in our living room. The children started writing letters to each other.  One day, Matthew (around 4 at the time), said, "Mom, there is a letter in there for the baby!" Can you just imagine the smile on his face? He had written a little note for his baby brother!

Now, all these years later, two of my children are grown and living on their own. I write them "real" letters in the mail, even though we talk on the phone. I  have three teenagers still here at home. I was thinking we need another mailbox.

I will write them little notes, sometimes funny, sometimes serious. I will write loving thoughts and brighten their days. And I hope they will find it just as much fun as when they were my little, precious darlings so long ago.

Mrs. White

From the Archives -

Something Lovely on a very hard day - Presents to Cheer Me Up.

When There is No Money - No Income and the Basics of Life.

Make Cleaning Pleasant - Mozart Inspired Housekeeping.



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MamaHen said...

What a sweet sweet idea.

Jennifer Hoots said...

Wonderful idea. Thank you!

Our Homeschool Reviews said...

That sounds like a great idea! Thanks for sharing!

Rebecca Knox said...

I loved this post! We did a little bit of this kind of stuff when our older children were still in the home. Brought back a lot of great memories and, even though we visited via Skype last night, it gives me an overwhelming desire to write my youngest daughter a letter (she's the only one who lives 'away' from our area). Thanks for sharing!

Debbie said...

I love this idea!!

Laura in AZ said...

Hi Mrs. White,
We do the in-house mailbox, too. Our "mailbox" is the music stand on the piano. I don't remember how that started--must have been a good place to leave notes & pictures for each other where babies couldn't reach and chew them up!

I love your blog!

Wendy said...

Thanks so much for sharing this sweet memory! I'm looking forward to trying this out with our boys- sometimes I do write them little notes, but I think taking it to a different level would be great... so inspiring! :)

Chels/Catz in the Kitchen said...

I adore this idea so much! I'm homeschooling as well and my daughter just finished up 1st grade. This is such an excellent idea to help her keep up her penmanship as well as grow a close bond with me! Thank you for posting this!!

Bekah and Corey said...

Precious thoughts and wonderful ideas, Mrs. White!

SydneyKathryns said...

We did some of this, too, when mine were younger. When the oldest went to Cambridege, and was overseas, she kept pestering us to get the internet, so we could email. I was still so afraid of it all (about 12 years ago.) But I wrote long snail mail letters. I told her I wanted her to hold the paper I had written on, to see my own handwriting, which was familiar, and to KNOW is was from me. That way, when she was homesick, she could pull it out, and touch it, and feel closer to home. She grumbled for a while, but those letters became treasures.
Now we talk on the phone, and Facebook almost every day. Skype is next.
I think there is something about writing, that lets us truly say what we want to sometimes, it's easier to be more vulnerable, intimate.
We live in a big house, and I am handicapped, so there are days when my youngest son will email or Facebook me when he is in his room downstairs, and knows I am in the office, especially if he want to share an important article or news clip with me.
Thanks you again for sharing from your life!

Deanna said...

loved this!!!

Mrs Mary Joy Pershing said...

What a wonderful idea!!!! You have my creative juices flowing this morning! Had to share it on facebook. ;-)

Blessed Sunday!

Building Home with Him,

Mary Joy

Victoria said...

What a sweet tradition. Sometimes we can write thoughts more clearly than we could ever speak them. What a way to say "I love you" to the precious children in our home!

Kristi said...

That's such a lovely idea!! I'll have to go on the lookout for mailboxes this summer, and start something similar.

Stopping by from the HHH, and I'm loving your blog! Following you!

Karen said...

I love this idea! When Kei was smaller, we had a mailbox in our house too. It kinda fell by the wayside but I am about to bring it back to life!! I am so glad I read this today.

Visiting from HHH and so nice to 'meet' you. I will be back.

Jamie {See Jamie blog} said...

I love this. We write notes to each other occasionally, but I like this even better.

Stopping by from the Hip Homeschool Hop today!

MrsAshley said...

That is an awesome idea, would you mind if I shared it on my blog next month? I can copy and paste it as a guest post or you can reword it if you wish...I would just love to share this sweet idea with my readers. Please let me know, MrsAshleyWalkup at gmail dot com

Thank you and have a blessed day!

Angie said...

I remember we used to have mailboxes in the house, but I was too preoccupied with babies and home and homeschool that I missed the whole point! What a beautiful perspective you have. Thank you for sharing! Must. set. up. mailboxes. again.