Thursday, August 27, 2009
For the Picnic Post at ABC's and 123's today, the topic is encouragement. How do we encourage our children, spouses, co-workers, friends, etc. I immediately thought of love notes.
Love notes have a special place in my heart. From as early in my life as I can remember, I have cherished the little notes given to me. My mother is a fabulous encourager. She was constantly sneaking little notes into lunch boxes, suitcases, backpacks, on pillows and in drawers as I grew up. She had the uncanny gift of knowing what to say and when to say it. She still writes little notes and it's one of the many reasons why I love her.
My grandparents served missions for our church when I was younger, one in Atlanta, GA and another in Mexico City, Mexico. I loved writing to them and loved receiving letters even more. With them far away, I loved opening the mailbox to find a colorful postcard or letter with my grandmothers beautiful, artistic script, or my grandpa's bold, clear accountant printing. It made me realize they really were close by in spirit. What a unique window into their lives, and now, with Grandpa gone, cherished treasures.
My husband served a mission for two years in Mexico soon after we met. With letters as the only form of communication permitted, we were able to encourage one another in our own paths. We wrote happy, supportive, news-filled pages, and kept the "mushy stuff" to a bare minimum. Oh how I pined for those posts! Now that we are married, those letters are a little peek into our past and into the years that really formed so much of who we are today, as individuals and as a couple.
I still get the occasional love note from my hubby, and they mean the world to me. I love sneaking a note into his lunch or onto his pillow every so often, too. You gotta keep the romance alive.
My very favorite part of the day when I was teaching was "good news time." I would take a few minutes at the end of the day to highlight something wonderful I saw one of my students doing and I would write them a little good news note to take home with what I saw them do. It was a chance to recognize and reinforce the good deeds that were done in our room. I would always play up the good deed and how fabulous this child was to the class before giving the student's name. Then, the child would come up, get their good news note and enjoy a little applause from their classmates.
Because I have been on the receiving end of so many hand-written treasures, I feel the need to pass this tradition along to my children too. I wrote a simple I love you note and slipped it into my oldest's backpack on the first day of preschool. A little tangible reminder that Mommy loves him on that important day of firsts. Even though my little ones cannot read, I love writing them little love letters and reading them aloud. I love Valentines Day for the excuse to be a mushy-gushy mom to two little boys who would rather be crashing cars or playing in the dirt.
I truly believe that a hand-written note says more than a simple spoken thank you or I love you. There is something stronger about professing your feelings on paper, a commitment of sorts. In the world of instant messages and express lanes, and fast-fading fads, the hand-written letter is a welcome, slower, enduring, change of pace.