Spring Break for the Brown Family has arrived. As I drove my bubbly boys and Nick to the Amtrak station early this morning to board a train headed to Chicago, I reminded them of the four requests I had mentioned over dinner last night (such an annoying Mom sometimes!!). Emmett piped up, “One, take lots of pictures (Nick finally turned in his flip phone for a smartphone which actually takes pictures!). Two, write postcards (the troupe is supplied with postcard stamps and addresses). Three, have fun. And four…I forgot, Mom.” I pleaded, “Write in your travel journal at least once Em!” “Oh right, got it Mom.”
I laughed when I realized two of the four requests pertained to writing. No surprise here. But it’s the simple touches of handwriting which can leave the lasting impressions. That’s the drive anyway. The memories a child creates while not only documenting the journey, the “big city” moments, but the actual act of writing becomes a part of this experience.
I was reminded of this yesterday while sitting at the Easter service with my family. When I wasn’t trying to hush my kids down, I found myself writing notes to my Mom on the donation envelope with the small pew pencils. Flashbacks raced in my mind of many younger years when I was also waiting patiently in the pews, wanting to chat with my friends. We would use up every centimeter of paper with our notes to each other. As I subtly passed my Mom a note, I wondered how many kids still write or do most text each other while trying to stay quiet during a church service? I’m afraid we all the know the answer. Is there a loss in this writing as well, the passing of the notes, the feel of the stubby pencil, using the song book as a desk?
There are those traditions I plan to hold while my kids grow…writing postcards, writing in travel journals. And yes, maybe even writing notes in church versus the ever popular texting might just have to be added to the list.