Monday, April 30, 2007

Mail Kit for Kids

If you've been hoping for letters from your grandchild, put together a mail kit for him:
* Choose a sturdy container - a shoe box you've covered with paper, or a lidded basket. Include a variety of papers and postcards, stamps, pencils and erasers, and a small address book with family addresses in it. Don't forget some drawing paper, and perhaps some colored pencils or a charcoal drawing pencil.
* If your grandchild isn't reading or writing yet, include some self-addressed, stamped envelopes in the "mail kit."
*If your grandchild is a beginning reader/writer, put small photographs beside the addresses in an address book.
* Write regularly to your grandchild. Send postcards as well as longer letters. Include drawings you've made, or photographs you've taken.
* Write about things you've done lately, even ordinary things. Tell your grandchild about your own childhood adventures, or activities you hope to try someday. Show interest in what your grandchild is doing - ask questions he can easily answer. Let him know you enjoy the letters (or pictures) he sends you in the mail; tell him you hope he'll write you again soon.

Sunday, April 29, 2007


We got a letter from our grandson the other day, thanking us for his birthday gifts, and for coming to his birthday party. Although his mom wrote most of the letter, he finished it, signing his name in kindergarten script.
That letter made me smile all day! How delightful it is to get a note in the mail, especially one from a grandchild!
Sometimes I hear other grandmas complain that children don't send thank you notes any more, or that no one writes real letters. I always wonder if they send thank you notes themselves, or if they write real letters.
Even though the price of stamps and stationery goes up regularly, the value of a "real letter" is beyond price. When our basement flooded four years ago, one of the things I went out of my way to salvage was the letters I've saved from my own grandmas.
None of those letters contain much more than descriptions of what they were doing that day, what they were fixing for dinner, what kinds of things various relatives or neighbors were doing or thinking; they always finished up with questions about how I was doing, and messages of concern and love.
But holding a hand-written note from one of them takes me instantly back into their presence. I can almost hear their voices, smell their perfume, feel their hugs.
Jake's letter makes me feel the same way; I can almost hear him dictating his note for his mom to write down. I can see his smile as he makes a joke, feel his warm hug even as he wriggles out of reach.
That's why I make time to write postcards and notes to our grandchildren. I want them to feel my love for them even when I'm not there. I want them to appreciate the thrill of finding a personal letter in the mailbox.
I want them to want to write me back.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Ten good things . . .

Just in case it's been one of those days, here are ten good things about being a grandma . . .

1. baby pictures on the refrigerator or bulletin board
2. shopping for baby clothes
3. sewing a layette, knitting a baby blanket - or trying to!
4. getting out baby pictures of your baby to share with the parents
of your grandchild
5. realizing you still remember how to change a diaper
6. rocking and singing a lullaby
7. writing letters or postcards to your grandchild
8. getting a letter or postcard from your grandchild
9. grandparent's day at your grandchild's school
10. watching your child become a parent

What are your favorites?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Grandma, on Board

As a grandma, I sometimes feel as if I'm in graduate school for moms.
The challenges I work at mastering are similar to the ones I worked on as a mom: how to nurture without smothering; how to give enough help without discouraging independence; how to keep on loving even when the object of your love is driving you crazy!
It's no easier for my daughters and daughters-in-law who parent my grandchildren: what should they do with me and all my great ideas? How can they respond nicely when I tell them (for the fortieth time) something "they might want to think about . . . "
Fortunately for me, they are gracious and kind!
We thought, though, that it might be fun to explore some of the issues that come up when there is a grandma on board. We hope you'll come along for the ride!