Tori has long known about the power of text messaging.
“Tell Grandma I just went potty,” she’ll say.
“You want me to call her?”
“No, just test her!”
Or, “I want to show grandma my new shoes!”
“Well, you’ll have to wait until they come visit us.”
“Noooo! Use your phone and take a picture, mommy. Then she’ll see!”
But it wasn’t until very recently that she discovered an older, slower, but apparently still delightful form of communication: the mail.
And she found out about it from a decidedly newfangled invention: Netflix.
A character in one of her favorite shows (although I can’t for the life of me remember which one) wanted to do something nice for her grandma, who was sick. So she made her a card, put a stamp on it, and stuck it in the mailbox.
When Tori saw that? It was like a light bulb exploded in her head. Before the show was even over, she was up and on her way to her craft table.
“I’m going to make grandma a card,” she said.
Selfish mama that I am, I thought, “Oh goody. Now I can sit here and read my book while she draws.”
But I was soon drawn in by the cuteness taking place behind me and put down my book, peering over the top of the couch at Tori.
“Grandma, I love you very much,” she murmured to herself as she pretended to write. “I hope Josh is giving you lots of kisses. Don’t let Zinnia eat the sparkles off your shirt and remember to wash your hands after you go potty. Love, Tori.”
Then she emphatically folded the card and raced back over to me.
“Mama, I made a card! Now we’ve got to mail it!”
“Mail it? Oh, I don’t know, honey,” I muttered, still trying to be lazy.
“YES!” she said, tugging my arm to make me get up. “You’ve got to find me an envelope. We have to mail it. Right! Now!”
Crumbling in the face of the blue-eyed earnestness gazing up at me, I got up from my cozy nest and went to find her an envelope.
She shoved it in as soon as I handed it to her. “Okay, now we’re ready to mail it!”
“No, honey, there’s a couple more steps first.”
“Well, first you have to lick the envelope closed.”
She touched the envelope to her tongue and made a face.
“Eww, yuck! I don’t want to. You do it, mommy.”
Then I showed her where to write the address and how to put a stamp on.
“Now can we mail it?”
“Yep, we’ll put it out in the mailbox in the morning and the mailman will take it.”
“Now? It’s like 5 degrees out there!”
And we bundled ourselves into our shoes and coats and trundled out to the mailbox. Then, realizing she couldn’t quite reach yet, I lifted her up and she popped it in. The grin she gave me once the mailbox door closed was almost worth the ice sliding between my toes.
“I sent grandma a letter!”
“Yes, you did. She’ll love it!”
And she did.
Since then, we’ve sent birthday cards, valentine’s messages, and even a get well card to her Great Grandma Marge. If she keeps this up, we’ll be able to single-handedly keep the post office in business.
I don’t know how long this stage will last, but it’s pretty adorable.
And it’s made me think…there’s something about a letter. Something special. I might have to write a few of my own.