For Halloween my step-mother sent both my girls a card with five $1 bills in it. They each got their own envelope, addressed to them, with a separate hand-written note to them. Of course they both loved this, and the real genius was that they each got to open their own.
I’m a big believer in thank-you notes. I was raised to write thank-you notes. Period. And I’ve passed this on to my girls. If someone took the time and effort to send you a gift, it’s the least you can do to acknowledge their thoughtfulness. Krystal is old enough now to write her own notes, but even when she was very young I’d have her scribble in a note I had written.
I’m not proud of it, but the cards and money sat on the counter day after day, and we never got around to writing Grammy her thank- you notes (because I never made it a priority). So last night we called her and the girls got on the phone, one after the other, to thank her for the card and money. [For the record: I do not think calls and notes are equivalent, but given how much time had passed, I felt it was better to do something. With Christmas and winter birthdays coming up we’ll have ample opportunity to get back to note-writing.] When it was my turn to talk I fell over myself apologizing for the lateness of our thank you and she said, “Well, I haven’t heard from any of the others, so you’re the first.” And I was perversely pleased, and then appalled at this. (my step-sisters have kids or grandkids around the same age as mine)
She and I spent probably twenty more minutes catching up, which of course caused my girls to go into a tailspin. I don’t know what it is about kids and phones, but once I am on the phone they suddenly ratchet up their activity level and need for my attention. Any parents reading this surely know exactly what I’m talking about! So during this time I was having to take mini-breaks from the call to deal with the girls: mediate a disagreement, admonish them on the appropriateness of a television show they were trying to sneak in since they knew I was distracted, and constantly reminding them to respect me and the other person on the phone by staying QUIET. Maddening! But my step-mother said something to me that still has me feeling good the next day. She said she was really impressed with how I was raising them with how closely I screened their TV shows and encouraged their polite habits. And even though I can think of hundreds of ways I feel I fall short in this parenting thing, it truly made my day to hear someone say that to me.
So, what about you – has anyone said anything to you recently that made you feel good, even a day or two later?