March 31, 2010

In the mailbox

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.”

Gift

20 comments:

YourFireAnt said...

It probably went to Cleveland to a central processing center, and was cancelled sorted and shipped by ground transport to Traintrack Village and then sorted into the bag of your mail deliverer and then out to your house. All in two days.

;-)

Anonymous said...

a loyal anonymous reader here -- it breaks my heart that biker boy has never been shown how to mail a letter, and it mends it a little that you showed him! I am so glad you are there for him.

sherry said...

Can you mail something to him? I mean, I know you *can*, but will his family give it to him?

Jennifer (ponderosa) said...

Look at those big hearts!

Psycgirl said...

awwwwwwwwww! I love Little Biker Boy!

Artist Friend said...

You should show him his picture on line. I bet he'd love that. And thanks to them for the blue cupcakes I got in the mail!

jo(e) said...

Artist Friend: I made his picture the screensaver on my computer -- he loved that.

And yeah, I think the day that I helped Ponytail mail the blue cupcake pictures to you is what made him want to mail me a present. I'd forgotten all about that until you mentioned it.

jo(e) said...

Sherry: Actually, a reader who has kids just offered to mail the kids something here, so he can get some mail.

TC said...

That picture. Seriously brought tears to my eyes.

Lilian said...

Wonderful! And I'm glad you taught him your number, poor children. I just hope (against hope) that you don't ever get an awfully frightening phone call from him. Sigh.

susan said...

This story breaks my heart and makes me smile all at the same time.

kathy a. said...

that is just the sweetest! and from now on, he can mail a letter when he wants -- that's a gift, too.

liz said...

I love the picture he gave you. I love what you are giving those children, too.

Jessica said...

Love this story, Jo(e) - - so cute!

While it might not be the most "efficient", at least BB felt he accomplished what he wanted to. In the end, that's all that matters.

readersguide said...

That picture is the sweetest thing ever.

BrightenedBoy said...

It's wonderful that they feel so comfortable and safe with you. The attachment you're developing is very touching to read about.

liz said...

I was thinking about what you said a couple of months ago about the uncertainty of the neighbor kids' future (whether they would move away suddenly) and wondered this:

Now that Little Biker Boy knows how to use the mail, can you give him some Forever stamps and postcards to keep in his suitcase just in case?

That way, he'll know that he can stay in touch no matter where he is and that you WANT him to stay in touch.

landismom said...

Awesome story, jo(e).

Jodie said...

That's just really very sweet.

Leslie F. Miller said...

perfect.