Every day when we check the little black mail box at our home, the kids ask, "Who got mail?" (Disregard the poor grammar.)
And when the answer is usually someone other than themselves, their little faces turn downcast and they wonder aloud why only mommy and daddy get letters every day.
These guys already know the significance of a Real Letter.
I have about three friends with whom I (almost) regularly exchange genuine letters. And it is a highlight of my week to receive one of those beautifully hand written envelopes in the mail.
I get almost giddy. And I never rip it open right away while I am still in the car. I wait until I can actually sit down, which is sometimes several hours post receiving said letter. And then I open the letter and unfold the many pages. (Yes, many pages. These friends are good like that.)
Even the feel of the paper is pleasant. Words appearing in perfect balance on a screen just don't convey the same level of emotion as words penned in ink and scrawled across a page with character and personal style.
You can savor a letter in a way that you just can't savor other writing.
The return letter is just as rewarding. Sitting still, using a pen (a blue one), and thinking carefully before you begin writing because you don't have the easy delete button. The only spellcheck is the one in your brain.
Yes, I can see why my children are sad when their names seldom appear on the outside of an envelope. I would be sad too.
Long live letters.