Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Digital Appreciation of a Low-Tech Skill

My mom writes a cursive capital "J" in a way that is totally unique. It's essentially a huge loop. I see it all the time because her name starts with a "J." Jmommy.

I don't recall my mother sending me too many love notes when I was a teenager. The only times I remember encountering her writing was for permission slips, grocery lists, and the occasional reminder to do some chores. There were probably many times she wrote "I love you," but I missed it because my mind was too involved in causing mischief and trying to kiss boys.

On Christmas morning, my sisters and I knew which presents were from Santa, purely from the handwriting. All of the tags were written in my mother's cursive, except for Santa's, who wrote in printed, capital letters. "TO: HOLLY FROM: SANTA."

In college, my mom sent me more mail than any of the other mail I received combined. Whether it was a care package, a card she saw that she enjoyed, or a long letter on college-ruled paper, she made sure that I knew I was not forgotten back at home. The mailbox was especially full my freshman year, which caused my roommate so much jealousy that she started hiding my mail from me. Upon hearing this, my mom started sending even MORE mail. That's my kind of woman.

And married life has afforded me an unlimited cell phone plan, meaning that texting and phone calls have become frequent between my mother and me. I often wonder how we would have communicated if texting had been as prevalent when I was a teenager; it's far easier to text "I'm done talking about this," and I imagine that my mom would have been less angry at me than she was when I said it to her face. I am grateful to have a direct line to my mom whenever I want, even if that means going through to voice mail every now and again.

However, I didn't know how much I missed seeing her writing until I got an $18.20 overnighted package in the mail yesterday, containing my house key that she inadvertently took back to California after coming to help with baby Lucy. There was no letter inside the envelope, not even a small note. There was just a (really important to the whole "leaving the house with two kids," which wasn't overt until I found myself outside my house in freezing weather) key. But, just reading my name and address in her handwriting made me feel really warm and fuzzy inside.

She's awesome.

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