Friday, May 7, 2010

Letters Kept

Believe it or not, no one in my family is the writing kind.  It might be hard to fathom given the fact your reading my blog right now...but it's true.  Letter writing, specifically, is just not something any of us do, no matter how far apart we are from one another, or for how long.  However, when I was probably about seven years old, and staying with my father for the summer, I wrote my mom a letter.  I told her all about how tan I was getting and how I was learning to dive into the swimming pool.  The whole thing couldn't have been more than five sentences.

In the fifth grade I wrote another letter, but not to my mother.  This one was addressed to Santa Claus.  I had gotten into an argument with my best friend over the veracity of the toy-giver.  I wanted conclusive proof of his existence so instead of allowing my mother to tell good old St. Nick of that year's toy desires, I wrote directly to him.  I asked for a Bing Crosby White Christmas record.  I explained to him it was of the utmost importance that he prove himself to be real with this one request.  And, he did!!  Christmas morning I burst into the living room and there it was, my album.  I remember the elation, jumping up and down with giddy joy, to finally know for sure Santa Claus was certainly real.  I called my friend and boasted to her about my irrefutable proof.

As clearly as I remember that morning, I also remember the events that took place months later when I found that very letter, the one that had been sent off to the North Pole, IN MY MOTHER'S PURSE!  I was devastated.  As an adult looking back, the careful planning it must have taken to convince a skeptical ten year old of Santa's undeniable existence far outweighs the one minor "mistake" of saving the letter.  My mother could have won an Oscar that year when she feigned surprise over the "mystery" album under the tree.  (I had intentionally not asked my parents for that particular item, in order to get the assurance I needed.)  It was probably the same day I found that letter that I went in search of all my missing teeth, because no doubt if Santa wasn't real then neither was the Tooth Fairy!!

Many years after Santa-gate, I was given the opportunity to keep a letter of my own.  I was spending the fall of my eighteenth year at Basic Combat Training.  My name was announced at mail call, to receive an envelope from my mom.  She told of home life, work, my dog and the cat.  She gave encouragement and love in the form of her familiar writing on notebook paper.  It couldn't have been more than five paragraphs.

I still have the letter in a box of keepsakes; I know my mom still has my letter to her.  I'm not sure what happened to the one written to Santa.  ...You don't think I TOLD her I found that letter, do you??  Hello?  What child would give up extra presents???

1 comment:

  1. And, now I know! What were you looking for in my purse. And, yes, I still have the letter you wrote to me and I will always cherish that little letter. It was the one thing that kept me hobbling along on those crutches. I needed to get through that summer at Ft. Jackson in order to keep my job and to provide for you and your brother. I would and will do anything I can to make your happy and secure. After all, you are my angel.