A few weeks ago, Chris and I watched Mary and Max. It's a bit dark and sad for kids, but it's a really beautiful story. Mary and Max form a friendship by writing letters to each other. They become pen pals. This gave me an idea. I've always loved getting mail. When I was little, my mom used to give me the junk mail and tell me that they had come for me. Some times, rarely, I'd get real mail. Someone would send me a letter or a postcard. The summer before I headed off to college, I had a boyfriend in the Navy. I was more in love with the romantic idea of the letters we mailed back and forth than I was with him (sorry Jason). I don't like getting bills, but I do like getting mail.
So, I've started The Pen Pal Project. I've written letters to all my nieces and nephews (blood related and honorary). I know that some of them will roll their eyes (I can hear them rolling now) and shake their heads at their silly Aunt Cindy. But some of them (maybe because their mothers will make them) will write back. This is my way of keeping them close. Also, I've been thinking that this is a good start on changing the way we speak to and about each other. I can use these letters to sneak in words of encouragement. It's my way of telling them how special each and everyone of them are.
I can't wait to see what comes back.