In one of my very early posts, I had mentioned about starting a year of connection through the written word through a project I had found via Kim at Mothering with Mindfulness called the 52 letters project. In recap, the project is a simple one : Write one letter a week to someone for a whole year. Since I had found the project a bit late, I had decided to start my year on February 1st.
well, here we are 7 weeks later and we are well on our way. Although I must admit, I have taken a few liberties with the project and made it my own. I’ve decided to involve my daughter, introducing her to her first pen pals.
Over the last few weeks, I have been in contact with friends of mine that have children around my daughter’s age, asking them if they would be interested in having a pen pal. Now, I knew that meant involving the parents since most of our children are too young to write for themselves. But the response was very enthusiastic and before I knew it, my daughter had 5 pen pals from Ontario, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Maine!
So needless to say, the last few weeks of the project have been focused on establishing first contact with all these lovely new friends, 3 of which my daughter has never met face to face. This last part has of course introduced a new dimension to the pen pal process, trying to make her understand that it is possible to make friends at a distance through the letter writing process.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve seen an increase in her concentration and focus. I’ve seen her narrative skills improve greatly (since she tells me what to write in the letter, an I do verbatim), she has been tracing letters with much better accuracy and she now has a capacity for answering questions and thinking up new ones, opening up this long-distance dialogue that escaped her just a few weeks ago. Plus, you can imagine the thrill she felt when her first response arrived 2 weeks ago.
When I first started this letter writing journey, I knew how enriched it would make me feel. Reconnecting with my handwriting, surprising a few people and meeting new friends. But little did I know that I would bring to my daughter such an early gift of openness to the world. To see her bloom through our family experiments is by far the greatest gift.
Do your children have pen pals? How do you make the process unique for them? I would love to hear your ideas and experiences.
Have a wonderful week everyone!