One of my goals for the 2010 year was to send cards to friends and family members for their birthdays. I failed miserably at it. I've been thinking the past few weeks about why I failed so miserably at this goal, and have come to the conclusion that it's because I have no set time in my day for sitting down and writing.
I started thinking about how little I actually sit down with a pen and a paper and write. In my youth I spent so much time writing little notes and letters to my family and friends, and in college, I spent a lot of time physically writing too. Often, when I had a large paper due, I would have to sit and write it by hand, and even revise it by hand a few times before I could type it up.
For some reason, my thoughts flow so much easier when I sit with a pen and a paper. It is an act, I believe, that is deeply introspective-- like taking in a deep and calming breath.
Last week while thinking about writing, I read this great post from my friend Heidi, about the lost art of the handwritten note. It motivated me to really sit down and make writing an everyday part of my life. I also decided that it would be a good thing to incorporate the boys into.
So I went downstairs and made them each a little writing kit. At first I had a bunch of supplies in their little kits-- scissors, pencils and pens, paper, glue etc. After giving it a second thought though, I removed all of that-- they have easy access to those supplies anyway, and we spend a lot of time "crafting" and drawing, so I wanted this to be all about writing. They ended up with a spiral notebook, a pencil, some envelopes and stamps, and some alphabet stickers.
Then I showed them their kits, and talked about how we're going to set aside a little time each morning to sit and write.
We've been doing this for a week now, and I have really loved it. It gives me time every day, to either write in my journal, or to send off a card to a friend or family member.
Since neither of the boys can really "write" yet, they spend time drawing and writing the letters they know. Vaughn likes asking me how to spell certain words, and then writing them himself, and then finding the alphabet stickers for those words too. Last week he wrote a letter to his Grandma, and to Santa. The letter to Santa was a picture of a "police snowman" with the letters "GOOD" written to the side of the snowman so that Santa would know "he's been good." They both love running to the mailbox after our little writing sessions and sending their letters off.
They have the attention span to last about 15 minutes, which is the perfect little pause in our day to reflect inward and to think about other people.
I love this little exercise, and hope that we will continue at it.