I am all about modernization and having all the latest and greatest improvements. I love my ipad and google and my kindle and instant downloading of books and magazines. I love my iphone and Suri. I really love my navigation system and hope to never have to read a map again. I love being able to instantly download music and not having to fumble with Cd’s, never mind a casette or an 8 track (is that what they were called?) or a record player…OMG! I love DVR and the big screen TV’s. Most of our bills are paperless. Schools are going paperless. The internet is amazing. Even crayons are changing. Coloring books are becoming dry erase books and even better…our computer screens are becoming coloring books. People have “going green” so implanted in our heads that I have even recenlty switched my magazine subscriptions to the online version. I am so fine with all these changes. But the one change that I struggle with is the lost meaning of the “envelope.” The lost art of sending a letter in the mail that arrives in an “envelope.”
With evite and paperless post and all these savyy ways of communicating, I sometimes struggle with the fact that my children just might not know what it means to receive an envelope in the mail. My children, especially the 2 year old, aren’t really going to grow up with the excitement of receiving an envelope in the mailbox and opening it up to see what someone wrote or sent. Children instead open an evite or an email. I can’t decice how I feel about this. I mean, there is something exciting about going to the mailbox to see who sent you something. When I was growing up, I got letters from pen pals, chain letters and post cards from friends and family on trips. But just when I start to think to deeply about this, I just remind myself that times change and this is just one of the changes. It’s the way the world is turning now…Until Valentine’s Day of this year.
A huge fan of Pinterest I of course created a Valentine’s Day Board with all these fun and crafty ideas. So I told my children to look at the board and they could each pick out what they wanted to do as their “Valentine’s Day Card’ for their friends. The 2 year old pointed to the crayon box idea, the 6 year old decided on the rice krispie treat card idea and the 10 year old choose the friendship bracelet card idea. So we got our supplies and began making and assembling our “cards.”
A litle short on time with Mardi Gras, Lent and the overall busy-ness that gets busier each day, I was left to finish tying the cards to the rice krispie treats the night before Valentine’s Day after I put the children to bed. All the cards were finshed and lined up with each child’s school bag ready to go in the morning. Off to bed I went.
Well, when Ella woke up the next morning and came into the kitchen to look at her rice krispie treat Valentine’s Day cards, she instantly had a long look on her face. She was so sad and almost in tears. I asked, “Ella, what is wrong?” And she replied, “where is the envelope? It’s Valentine’s Day and I wanted to give my friends a card that came in an envelope.” I said, Ella, honey, you picked out the rice krispie treat idea. You knew what we were doing. And she said, “yes, but I thought you were going to put it in an envelope. I want my friends to be able to open my note. Cards are suppose to have an envelope, mom.”
I felt so sad. Had I let modernization take away what it really means to give someone a Valentine’s Day Card? Had I lost the meaning of giving someone a card in an envelope?
I was back to pondering my original question of do I want to modernize my way of communication and use paperless post and emails or do I want to stay old school and send invites in the mail and write letters and use a stamp to send it? I thought it was kind of ironic that when I went to get the mail on Valentine’s Day, my children each had received 2 red envelopes and their monthly subscriptions to Ranger Rick, Ranger Rick Jr. & Highlights and my husband received his Sports Illustrated Magazine. I received nothing. Why? Because my magazine arrived on the bookshelf of my ipad.
So, for now, I do enjoy receiving my magazines on the ipad and I will still continue to be inspired by Pinterest, but next year, our Valentine’s Day Cards will definately come in an envelope.