Theresa's Mixed Nuts: Things My Kids Will Never Know

Friday, April 13, 2012

Things My Kids Will Never Know

A few weeks back I read this blog entry about the lost art of letter writing on Sincerely, Paula’s blog. It got me thinking about my own pen pal that I had when I was in 6th grade. We were in our Geography class and it was a requirement that everyone sign up for a pen pal from another country. We had to pay $1.50 and select the country we were interested in, then through whatever company they used, we would be matched with our pen pal of choice. I was stoked! (Yes, I was a big nerd like that!) I really wanted a pen pal from Sweden, so put in my request and waited. A few weeks later I got my very first letter from a girl my own age from another country. How exciting! For at least 3 more years we wrote back and forth. I remember fighting with my sister over who was going to get the mail from the box because I wanted to be there as soon as her next letter arrived. We liked sending gifts back and forth too. I remember her asking me to send her something I thought was really American. I sent her Kool Aid packets, because what’s more American than that to a 12 year old girl? I thought it was so funny that she couldn’t figure out our measurement system (this was before Google made everything easy to look up) and told me it was terrible. Who doesn’t like Kool Aid?


I’m pretty sure I was the one who dropped the ball on communication. As I got more involved in high school and work, I just kept putting it off, until one day, she was just a memory. Years later I’ve found her letters and smile at those memories. My children ask “what are those?” upon seeing my letter stash. I tell them about my pen pal from Sweden. They don’t care. I guess that since you can get online and talk to someone in another country at any given time now, it’s just not exciting for them. That makes me sad.




What about letter folding? Do you remember writing a note and trying to pass it in class without getting caught? What about the art form of making sure that letter was folded just right? That was one of the best parts of sending a note to a friend! Now with text messaging, my kids won’t know that either. That makes me sad too.




I asked Mariah one day how many class photos she wanted to pass out to her friends. She told me none. I just figured she might be insecure about her picture, so didn’t press the issue. As I was looking for a picture, my girls found my box of photos from all of my school years. They got a kick out of reading the messages on the backs of the pictures that my classmates wrote before giving you their picture. Mariah asked “So, what did you guys do. Just write notes on the backs of your class pictures then pass them out?” Um yeah, that’s what we did. I guess now that you can get on Facebook and see pictures of your friends anytime you want, it’s not cool to pass out class pictures anymore.


I’ll be the first to tell you that I love technology, but I do wish it didn’t have the effect of eliminating some pretty cool things that make for lasting memories. These are just a few of the things my kids will never know because of it, and that’s a shame!


14 comments:

  1. I can really relate with this post! I remember when they had that option of a pen pal at school. The art of letter folding...oh yes, my friend and I in highschool had it down pat! lol. I still have some of the letters we "folded" into squares and other shapes. I hope my kids don't completely immerse themselves in technology but at the same time, it's part of their generation I guess! We should just be glad we still have those memories from our day of actually "writing" to communicate ;)

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    1. Oh yes, all those folds were down pat. Give me a sheet now and I couldn't do it to save my life now. Guess that's another sign of getting old lol.

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  2. I also am from that fun time in history of exchanging actual pictures of ourselves with everyone in school. and note writing was so much fun ! Love your blog my friend

    Hugs

    - KAT -

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    1. I'm shocked they don't do it anymore. Cell phone pictures and facebook shots can be deleted. Years later they are not going to have those photos to reminisce on.

      Thank you for your kind words :)

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  3. Theresa - Thanks so much for the sweet comments you left on my blog earlier - they are really appreciated.

    While the art of letter writing may be long gone (I too had a pen pal) the art of trying to write notes without getting caught is still alive and well - at least in the middle schools! So maybe your daughters will get the chance to experience that rite of passage.

    I hope you have a fabulous weekend!

    Hugs -
    Carol @arewethereyet

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    1. Not that I'm encouraging letter writing over studies, but it is nice to hear that some kids still find joy in sneaking in a note here and there :)

      Thank you so much for stopping by! Your comments are appreciated too :)

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  4. my kids have a pen pal project in school.... fun to read the stuff they write!
    I guess there isn't a need to give school pictures anymore..how interesting, huh?!
    have a great weekend!

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    1. I am so glad to hear that some schools are still encouraging pen pals! My daughter will be in 8th grade next year and her school never did offer up the opportunity :(

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  5. Nice post !!

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  6. Such a nice post!! Your so lucky to have the letters from your pen-pal, the school notes and photos too! It crazy to think how strange all that stuff seems to kids these days. And thanks so much Theresa for linking to my blog :))) smiling!!

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    1. You're welcome. I really enjoy your blog! It's on my list of blogs I must vitit daily :)

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  7. This post brings back so many wonderful memories for me. I remember my pen pal in Australia; we wrote back and forth throughout Middle School and most of High School. I always wondered what her life turned out like. The notes - I definitely remember the notes. I still have some of them stored away. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I'm definitely going to be following your blog!

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    1. I think if I could choose again, I'd also add a penpal from Austrailia. Such a beautiful country and I love their accents!

      I often wonder how my penpal's life ended up too. I've tried facebook and google searches for her, but no luck :(

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  8. The year book is still pretty popular to pass around and get signed, so we have that still. ;)

    I still have the photos of my friends from school. The only one that interests the kids is their godmother because boy oh boy did she have big hair, lol. :)

    That's nice you saved your pen pal's letters. My husband has a pen pal in Finland and he saved all of his letters too.

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Thanks for your comments! I appreciate every one of them :)

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