Should Your Kids Really Send Thank You Notes?
Crane notecards. For when I run out of the dragonflies I'm using now.
I have a confession to make. Despite my efforts - sleepless nights, Legos embedded in the soles of my feet, the times I reminded myself to say yes instead of no - in one significant way I failed as a mother. (Probably more than one, but this is all I'm ready to confess.)
I never made my kids write thank you notes.
Why? Because I hated doing it myself. Because my mother was a good mother, and she made me write what seems like hundreds.
There was a formula. First you had to say, "Thank you so much." Then you had to actually refer to something specific that you liked about the present. Then you had to say "Thank you," AGAIN. I just hated it. Sort of like filling out customs forms as you sit on an airplane about to land. Sheer tedium.
So, while my kids always said thank you to anyone in the room, and always called those far away, no notes were written. I only regret what I do not do. I regret this.
Thank goodness my sisters taught their kids well, holding up the High WASP side. Thank goodness some other mothers have also done their jobs. Here's how I know.
This notes is from a young woman just turned 30. She invited me to her birthday party and I bought a present. A lovely photo on the card, blank interior, hand-written. My mother would approve. Said young woman thanked me, told me why she liked my present, and thanked me again. I say, good job, young woman's mom. Hats off.
Then these. From Buckeroomama's kids. She won our NaraCamicie shirt giveaway. Since she lives in Hong Kong I shipped the shirt myself. Since I knew she had adorable little kids I added a couple of sticker sheets. Voila, almost by return post, came these notes. They now occupy a place of honor next to photos of two other cute kids I know, and a little painting done by one of said cute kids.
Josh, and Zoe, thank you so much for your notes. They are beautiful and I like them. Tell your mama I like her pictures too.
One more thing? My daughter writes thank you notes. Now. She even uses gold-rimmed Crane stationery. Daughters can compensate for maternal weakness. I suspect my son will join her soon in thank-you-noting, having stepped down from his former reign as "The God of Mute." He'll probably use email. That's OK. I'm glad when my kids figure something out that I wasn't able to teach them, even when they come up with a slightly different answer than I might have expected. To everyone who ever gave my children a present, this is my thank you note. I hope "Better late then never" applies.