It's April. For many folks that means nice weather, the real beginning of spring, tax time, and the wind-up to the end of the school year. For the Anderson family, April is "birthday month"!
We LOVE birthdays at our house. So much so, that we generally celebrate as early and as long as possible every time one occurs in our family.
That being said, I don't think Dave and I fully appreciated the enormity of having both of our kids' birthdays land in the same month. Thankfully, one is at the very beginning and the other is at the very end so that we can prolong the celebration and excessive consumption of birthday treats for weeks on end. However, it does create quite a bit of extra work, planning, and creativity for an extended period of time too.
We are now, quite successfully, over halfway through the month. As I scurried around my home on my day off, I was hit square between my type-A, overly organized eyes with yet another way that I have continued to enable my children over the past few years--birthday invitations and thank you cards!
As I sat at my kitchen table this afternoon with the stack of thank-you cards for my son's big bash and the stack of invites for my daughter's upcoming shin-dig, I thought "What in the crap am I doing?" Really, those were the words that rang in my head and right out of my mouth as I sat alone in my house, pen in hand and address book ready.
As luck would have it, I had only managed to address a few envelopes before my latest epiphany hit. Also, as luck would have it, it was my day off and I was going to be right there at the front door smiling as my kids disembarked from Mr. School Bus.
So began yet another impromptu teaching moment in the Anderson house.
I was surprised to find that my annual enabling-fest--disguised as "serving" my children--had resulted in my kids' complete lack of knowledge as to how to properly address and stamp an envelope fit for the good ol' US Postal Service.
Wow! Really?!? I'm that parent?
Why, yes, yes I am. . . but not anymore!
I simply sat my kids down at the table--their respective cards in front of them--and proceeded to instruct them on how to properly address and stamp an envelope. I was fully prepared for all the whining and complaining that I assumed would ensue. Much to my surprise, they dutifully sat and listened to the instructions and commenced licking, addressing and stamping said cards.
There were a few mishaps in the stack, but I am optimistic that they will all arrive at the correct locales several days from today. So, if you happen to be one of the recipients of our latest "lesson", please be forgiving of the scribbled out "mistakes", or elementary school chicken-scratch. If you happen to be the recipient of one that is clearly not child-written, just know your card was on the top of the stack and was the "instructional" letter hand-addressed by yours truly.
To say I feel a sense of freedom today would be an understatement. I don't think I ever really realized how much effort and time I have put into these birthday-month endeavors. Of course, I still can't quite get my kids to grasp the concept of picking up their socks and shoes, but doggonit, they know how to address an envelope now!
Pretty sure that in the next few decades, there will be no need for my kids to know how to accomplish such a task, but I guess that didn't stop my parents from teaching me how to program a VCR or wind a cassette ribbon back up with a pencil. At the very least, now my kids will have something to talk about when they tell their kids stories about "life, back in the day".