Husband and I have a special way to torment our kids, which mostly involves forcing them to learn how to interact. Televisions and computers, and for some, phones are not allowed in bedrooms. We still have a landline, because Youngest Child does not have a phone, two phones that are rotary dial. (One of them is an old pay phone.) And, while we do have an Xbox and a Wii, mostly the old pinball machine is played, especially when company is over. It is not a great surprise, then, that we communicate with Oldest Son by hand written letters….sent by mail!
We send articles, pictures and letters. There letters with pictures. Letters with graphs. Some letters are long and sometimes just one sentence is written. We include quotes. There are coded messages. And plain letters. Honestly, I cannot remember ever sending Oldest Son a package with baked goods, although Girlfriend gets a weekly-ish package of brownies from me. (Along with a note in glitter pen about why Pretty Little Liars is the worst show ever.)
The latest exchange started with Youngest Child sending a coded message to her brother. He promptly decoded it and, by text, sent us a picture of the message noting that her letter was even more mysterious decoded. It was an incomprehensible mess of gobbledy goop. Literally. And so beautifully hilarious. Oldest Son thought that maybe she had sent a code within a code, until he saw that she had misspelled her name in the signature.
Oldest Son returned the intrigue by sending her a coded letter. It is a mathematical code that requires me doing homework to break it. He gave me a set of instructions and defined variables for me, which was really sweet. I am hoping it is not an urgent message, though.
My favorite part? Addressing the envelopes. Sometimes we give clues as to what to expect inside (the Family Symphony was a coded letter to us that was written on a musical staff) and sometimes it is just plain silliness. The package I sent today, because there were ridiculous awards and certificates in there, was addressed to Plain Man. Years ago, Youngest Child used to sing a song about her brother. The lyrics were:
Jacob is a plain man, not a WO man.
Oldest Son and I are always at battle about women and math, so I needed to remind him that he is a plain man.
It is my favorite way to communicate. I will respond to all who agree with me.