Today, after completing a virtual run (more about that in a later post), I arrived home to find something special in the mail…
My heart beat a little faster when I saw THREE letters from Rooster.
This is the first “real” written communication, other than the postcard that arrived last week, that I’d received since he left two weeks ago.
The Mr. was out shopping, and I texted him the news. I knew I had to wait until he got home to open the envelopes. Fortunately, I didn’t have to wait long.
I sat down at the dining room table while the Mr. stood.
We opened the envelopes and determined the order in which we should read the letters. Rooster had dated each one. Thank goodness!
And thus began the best read aloud ever.
The first letter started off with, “I’m doing well.”
Yes, we needed to hear these sentiments. It was a good way to begin.
He said that he liked his MTIs (military training instructors), and that he’d been sick the first day he was there. Oh, that was hard to read. Who likes their babies being sick when we can’t tend to them?
The letter was brief. We didn’t care.
On to letter #2. It was even shorter and told us to ask for details from his girl, to whom he’d written much more. Ahem. At least he wrote!!
Letter #3 got us in our “feels.” It was the longest of the three.
He told us that he missed us a lot.
I’m crying even as I write this now, just as I did when I read those words the first time.
He told us about specific things he missed.
The waterworks were on full-blast at this point. The moments he shared were exactly what we’d been missing too.
He explained why he hadn’t been able to call and when he expected to be able to phone us next. It won’t be soon enough, let me tell you.
The most precious words he shared were “Love you guys!”
Y’all, I read aloud for a living. It’s what I do as a reading teacher.
Today, reading my sweet boy’s personally handwritten letters put my fluency skills to the test.
The emotions were raw.
I will tell you one thing that is good about not being able to communicate via the phone.
Writing letters back and forth is forcing us to talk the old-school way. It’s a lost art form, precious but rare.
The Mr. and I have written our Rooster letters (we each write our own) every single day, starting with the night before he left (we snuck those into his travel bag, which he found his first night).
It’s probably no surprise to you that I find the process cathartic. I NEED to write to process my feelings.
I look at each letter as a continuous conversation with the son who would sit and chat with me for hours about random stuff.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I will be the happiest mama on earth when he gets his phone back after basic training is over; however, I’m choosing to look for silver linings in my current circumstances…to find joy in the smallest of things.
Seeing my boy’s handwriting, taking note of his excellent grammar (I did something right as a mother and English specialist), and holding pieces of paper that he held three or four days prior lifts my spirits and helps ease the anxiety of not being able to hear his voice whenever I want.
I pray that these special read alouds are repeated…often…hanky in hand…heartstrings pulled taut. These will be treasured moments, tucked into my heart to be pulled out time and again as I remind myself just how blessed I am.