When the little neighbor kids came over, I got out the crayons and paper, so that they could draw at the table while I cleaned the kitchen. I can’t write or grade papers amidst their noisy chatter, but I’m very used to doing housework with small kids around. Our bulletin board is filled with pictures they’ve drawn.
“I’m drawing you a picture,” Little Biker Boy announced. “But you can’t see it yet.” He stapled two pieces of paper together so that it looked like an envelope and put the drawing inside. “I’m going to send you this in the mail.”
He’d never sent anything in the mail before. So I showed him how to write my name and address on the outside. His big printed letters took up the whole page. We got a stamp from my desk drawer. Ponytail, who was watching with interest, begged for a stamp to stick on her arm.
Our plan was to walk into town and mail the envelope from a post office box. But when we got to the end of the driveway, Ponytail wanted to go the other way, down to the traintracks for our walk.
“But I have to mail my picture!” Little Biker Boy wailed. "It's your present!" He was still clutching the envelope.
“That’s okay, you can mail it from the mailbox,” I told him, “And you can put up the little red flag as a signal.” Our mailbox lists sideways, the usual after-effect of being swiped by a snowplow, but the little red flag still works.
A few days later, when my husband brought in the mail, he handed me the envelope. “You’re getting mail from Little Biker Boy? Where did he mail it from?”
“From here,” I said, “He put it in our mailbox.”
Boy in Black looked up from his computer and grinned. “He put it in the mailbox here so that it could go the post office, and then get brought back here to the same mailbox? That's efficient.”