I have too many to count  {not enough} notebooks spread throughout the house.  They tend to be like half-used jars of jelly that one finds in the refrigerator just as one is putting the freshly opened jar inside.  I have an entire shelf dedicated to opened jelly containers - even still, I find myself gently holding the amber jar of a sealed Peach jam and think I should open this...we don't have peach open! Oh, wait, we do...hmm...but it's kinda old and I really wonder what this batch will taste like...and just like that


there goes the seal.  Better make more room on the shelf!  So, too, goes the ways of pretty, ugly, functional, worn, cute, well-crafted, tattered, easy-in-a-pinch, lovely, smooth, rough, and [the most important] at-hand notebooks and other modes of my scribbles.  Sometimes I think they are going to take over my desk....but I always find a way to justify their existence; namely leaving them for my children to manage. I so hope each may find himself one day, after I've expended my presence on this Earth, reaching for one or more notebooks and begin to read some of the silly things I thought were important.

As I went to remove a bunch of papers and computer off my kitchen table [you know, the place that collects everything but a beautiful tablecloth] I realized it wasn't my stuff, but one of the boys'.  I don't know how I would have thought it was mine at first glance because it had a whole lot of numbers and no words (calculus notes)!  My level of expertise is extended across many realms with one glaring exception:  ALL forms of arithmetic.  Yet, I stared at those numbers and symbols, alternately trying to dust the recesses of my brain to recall what they mean and in great Wonder of the hand that purposely jotted each one down.

And then, like the swoosh of the jar after my hands turn just a fraction of an inch too far, breaking the seal, my heart lurched when I recalled that the hands that created such intricate notes were now 4 States and 12 hours away from a sudden Mom-hug.  Without warning, the notes were no longer foreign language, but now were a treasure that I couldn't part with.  I still can't as they are currently staring at me right now.

In the pile, though, I find another, unrelated piece of notebook from yet another son who clearly had an ELA (core curriculum's top-dollar decision to refer to English) assignment.  He was supposed to write an essay [I believe] about himself and he had some prompts at the top to help him. I assume he created those notes in the classroom because mid-way down the paper, he tips his hand with:

I have a cat
I have 5 brothers
I don't like ELA

I'm pretty sure the "Tone/Mood" is self-explanatory; If I were his teacher, I'd be glad to give him some credit for honesty.  This note makes me so happy to be his mother for several reasons, one of them knowing that he did follow through and eventually create a fantastic essay of which I am quite pleased.  He didn't show it to me, mind you, but I know it exists in the way only Mothers' know and kids make valiant, yet futile efforts to figure out or understand.

Writing is very important to the soul of the author whether it is a short note, a kitchen list, a love letter, or a dissertation.  I have taught each of my children to hold a pencil and write, putting things on paper for posterity.  We, in our throwaway culture of the Delete buttons and lost Cloud access, have forgotten the import and effect of a mailed letter, the joy of a hand-written note, the seriousness of [what my kids call a Hogwarts 'Screamer'] letter to a wayward soul.  We are close to leaving only a blinking screen for posterity and that is a sincere deficiency.

Our minds connect with our hands to create an action, being intentional to write something down.  Yes, that is close to the same action of typing, but the clicks on a keyboard are not sensually the same as the feel of a pencil scratching across a surface or a pen smoothly flowing Parker ink to bleed onto pages.  And we all can recognize that opening a letter or note is inherently more gratifying than opening an email.  One can choose a varied font for one's screen, but cannot distinguish between two authors who type the same words with the same font; yet, use one's penmanship and the difference becomes instantaneously recognizable.  When I see something with my mother's beautiful, practiced script, my mind floods with love, knowledge, and connection to her even though I'll never see her on this Earth again.

Writing is important.  I just dropped $50 at the Post Office yesterday for a roll of stamps to keep in the house for notes, bills, and letters.  If I teach my kids that writing is important, then I must match my wallet to my mouth, so there sits the fresh roll, waiting to travel to destinations yet unknown.  Boxes of envelopes and paper sits in the desk, pens and pencils in the jar across the top (along with stickers and markers should one feel extra crafty....oh wait, with boys, that's just me.) Nothing makes that $50 more rewarding than passing by the mailbox in the morning to see the flag up because the 16 year old wrote a letter to a gal who he sees daily at school.  I can only imagine her joy a few days later in opening her mailbox and see his unique hand.

Relationships deserve the time and attention it takes to write on paper things for posterity.  Cursive is vital to a civil society so lets do our part for retaining the Culture and make the True things Permanent.  I mean every single word I write (oh the irony of this going on a blog!!!) in regards to handwriting, especially cursive, to the retention of tradition and culture.  Think about that the next time you pick up your phone to send a encouraging text or post some "hugs" on Facebook. Pause and think, do I mean what I say or am I participating in the throwaway culture?  Maybe it's time to set the phone down and pick up a notepad and some stamps.

Write that down. 


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