by Andrea Rennick

In the dining room-office, I have a stationery centre, with a small cardboard drawer set-up with erasers and paintbrushes and stationery and cards (birthday, sympathy, thank you) inside. The drawers (blue check to match her kitchen) and even most of the cards were my grandmother’s, who sent out lots of cards and try as I might, I just can’t seem to get more than a couple a year out the door.

Anyway. Emma uses the cards. She writes her name inside, very carefully, sometimes with a “To” and a “MOM” and even “DAD” and some squiggly lines and maybe if she’s feeling particularly loving she’ll draw a heart. She takes the card and finds an envelope that somewhat fits and decorates the outside with our names.

It’s like a birthday every other day here. Sometimes we get letters too, delivered to our “mailbox” in the bottom drawer of the file cabinet, a giggly voice yelling, “It’s mail time!” and scurrying around the corner to peek at us.

So we’ve run out of business envelopes more than once when we’ve had a crucial item that needed to go somewhere yesterday. Finally, we clued in, went to the Dollar Store and got Emma her very own box of 100 count small white envelopes.

“For ME?” she asked, enthralled. Later, she drew big X’s over the 100 on the box, because “it’s not a hundred dollars,” and I explained that the hundred means there’s a hundred inside, but since she used some, she’s perfectly right to cross off the hundred. “Of course,” she said.

I got another letter this morning, in smelly green marker. “I did the E all fancy, just like me!” There is a stamp drawn in the corner. I open it up and inside is one of her small pictures she drew over again. “This is for you, so when you are mad or sad you can look at the picture and feel all happy again!”

And what do you know? It works.

Andrea Rennick is a homeschooling mom of four children, ranging in age from 4 to 17. A sense of humour is a big part of dealing with the ins and outs of her day. She can also be found at her website, www.atypicalife.net Reach her at andrea@atypicalife.net.