As we wind our way back into a somewhat normal schedule after the frenzy of Christmas break there is one thing I am determined to accomplish. We are sending out thank-you notes. Come hell or high water, we are slapping our gratitude down on a piece of paper and sending it to those who took the time to shop, wrap and ship for us.
I’ve spoken before of my terrible correspondence skills. No where else does the guilt about my shortcoming creep into my soul like it does over the issue of thank-you notes. It’s not that we’re thankless, thoughtless people snatching up the fruits of other folks’ generosity and riding off into the sunset yelling “So long sucka’s!”. We THINK a lot about thank-you notes. We TALK a lot about thank-you notes. We REMIND each other a lot about thank-you notes. And yet, more often than not, days, weeks and then months go by and we have not brought pen to paper. Simply awful.
Well, not this year. Our gratitude knows no bounds and I am committed to showing it. Knowing that the easier the process is the more likely we are to see it through, I bought “fill in the blank” thank you cards. Not great, I know, especially for Beta Boy who is quite capable of writing his own notes. However, I’m working in baby steps here and on the premise that it’s the thought that counts.
Thank you for the blank. It made me really happy.
About five minutes in, I began to realize why I avoid the note-writing process with my children.
Beta Mom: Okay -this one is for Aunt Marge and Uncle Henry*. Do you remember what they gave you?
Beta Boy: Um…the puzzle, the pajamas and the book.
Beta Girl: I’m hungry. Can I have a snack?
Beta Mom: In a minute. So where it says “thank you for the – blank” write puzzle, pajamas and book.
Beta Boy: Can’t I just write “gifts”?
Beta Girl: How do you spell Marge?
Beta Mom: No – they took all that time to shop for those things for you. The least you can do is write them down. M-A-R-G-E.
Beta Girl: M- A….what was the next part again?
Beta Boy: Okay, I’ll write “puzzle”.
Beta Mom: R-G-E. No, you’ll write “puzzle, pajamas and book”. Beta Girl, what did Aunt Marge and Uncle Henry send you?
Beta Girl: I don’t remember.
Beta Boy: Done. Can I go play Wii now?
Beta Mom: No, you may not. You still have more to write. What do you mean you don’t remember? Their presents were wrapped in that green paper with the snowmen on it. You opened it up and inside there was a…
Beta Girl: I dunno.
Beta Boy: She could just write “gifts”.
Beta Mom: No!
Beta Boy: “Thoughtful gifts”?
Beta Girl: How do you spell Henry?
Beta Mom: Forget it.
Turns out that, in fact, our gratitude does know a few bounds.
Thank you for the part where you didn’t kill us.
It made me really happy.
Beta Boy and Beta girl.
*Names have been changed to protect the under-appreciated.