The other day I reminded my son Jacob that he needed to write some thank you notes. According to my kids, no one else they know has to do this. Perhaps this is becoming something of a lost art, but I still hand my kids pen and paper and hope for the best.
I’m not sure what my kids have learned, but here’s what I’ve discovered over the years.
1. Writing well is not an inherited gift. Several Christmases ago, one son wrote to his grandparents, “Thanks for the assorted stuff.” I told the son, “Uh, this isn’t acceptable.” The son said, “But I’m seriously thankful, and they gave me assorted stuff.”
2. In spite of the fact that my children have all had to write personal and business letters and envelopes in English classes, my high school graduate son asked, “So where on the envelope do you write the address you’re sending the note to?” I answered, “How are you ever going to pay your bills if you don’t know?” Then it occurred to me that he’ll pay online.
3. When they were younger, I had to specify exactly how many sentences they had to write. Otherwise, I discovered that they could fill up a note with really large letters.
4. Instead of using a dictionary to look up a word the child doesn’t know how to spell, he will simply use very messy handwriting to disguise the words. Apparently, if the recipient of the note can’t read the words, then he/she won’t know what’s misspelled.
5. Over the years, my children have assured me that they’ll never make their kids write thank you notes. I’m guessing that I’ll be getting them. Though they’ll probably be emailed. Sigh.