Dear Me-Ma, To Whom it May Concern
Last year my 10 year old suggested that he should be able to have an email address so that he can send ‘letters’ to his friends and family, more specifically his 79 year old great-grandmother, whom he refers to as “Me-Ma”. I’m sure his Me-Ma would have felt honored that he thought she was that technologically advanced, but unfortunately she’s not. Personally, I wasn’t too keen on the idea of him having an email address, because that would open up another can of worms when it came to his internet usage, which I try to monitor closely.
To get his mind off of having an email address, I showed him a few letters and cards I hand made for my mother when I was a kid, that she amazingly kept though-out the years. Since I rarely had money as a kid, I couldn’t buy cards, so I always had some arts and craft project going on. Letter writing was something I enjoyed because I loved to write in cursive and it made me feel like an adult for some reason.
When he saw the letters, of course the first thing he commented on was how old they looked and how old I actually was, I guess he gets his sense of humor from me. It didn’t take long for him to want to go out and buy some paper and envelopes so he could start his letter writing. It never dawned on me that I should explain to him how to properly format a letter, I figured it would be good to see how creative he could get on his own.
His first letter to his Me-Ma literally went like this:
Dear Me-Ma To Whom It May Concern:
I miss you and want to come and visit you soon. Here’s a picture of Sonic the Hedgehog for you!
When I asked where did he learn about “To Whom It May Concern”, he said his 4th grade teacher showed them how to write different types of letters. From that point, I took the time to explain to him the different types of letters. Informal versus formal. After we went over the basics, he became a letter writing pro! Everyone in the family started receiving weekly letters, photos and handwritten cards from him. He would spend a lot of his spare time not only writing letters, but also little stories to send along with them. Oh, and let me not forget his special signature at the end of each letter. He said considering that he’s going to be famous one day, he needed to make it a good one. So just to make his letters feel even that more special, we had a rubber stamp made with his own signature. He used his stamped signature at the end of each letter, photo and card and also on the envelop. Occasionally, I saw it on his bedroom walls as well, but we put a quick end to that.
About a year later, he did return to asking for an email address, so I obliged him, but with strict rules and boundaries. Needless to say, he’s not having much fun emailing me at work, since I’m the only email address he has right now.