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gailcalled's avatar

How shall I keep the correspondence flowing between my nephew, Milo, and me?

Asked by gailcalled (54644points) October 20th, 2011

Original question Here’s a recent up-date. After lots of negotiating, I decided on a devious approach and wrote Milo a real letter asking him to be my pen pal. (Paper, pen, stamp, USPO). See first answer vv for the results.

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13 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

This came in the mail today. I have changed nothing except for italicizing the title of the book. He underlined it, a correct way of writing it.

Dear, Aunt Gail,

How is Milo doing (my cat)? This MIlo is fine. It will be probably a few more days until I decide about being a pen-pal. We played bonzai kickball. I got a runs. I am reading The Bunjee Venture. I am also teaching Leo (—his 21-month old
brother—) how to play nice with Fluffy (the resident hampster). Fluffy got a furcut today. I got my Halloween costume. It is Darth Maul. You know what’s funny? Their is a nut table in the cafeteria to seperate us from the nut-allergic kids. Mom’s birthday is coming up and cousin Jez is coming down to visit. I’m planning to get a present but I don’t know if I’m going to because I’m supposed to get a new lego set on the weekend.



I think I will write back and say nothing about lego sets.

chyna's avatar

What a great kid!

JLeslie's avatar

Love it.

CWOTUS's avatar

I hope that you can subtly convince him to keep writing, however topical and ‘contemporary’ (and of course juvenile, but in the right way) those letters will be for now. Of course you’ll hold onto them, and they will enrich his own life (and his own heirs’ lives) decades from now. You should be proud of him.

gailcalled's avatar

My strategy will be to write back in several weeks, comment on this letter, ask him a few more questions, mention what’s happening to me and tell him to write back or not write back when and if he feels like it.

I want him to be seduced into the joy of having this correspondence. A nice counterbalance to the lego sets.

This letter seems amazingly sophisticated to me. I remember the “Dick and Jane and Spot” phase of my third grade experience.

bkcunningham's avatar

I think the nut table in the cafeteria is hilarious. What a fantastic idea, @gailcalled. I hope you save that letter forever. Priceless and precious.

gailcalled's avatar

@bkcunningham: The kid’s got a gift. How about “Fluffy (his hamster)” got a furcut today”?

bkcunningham's avatar

I know! A furcut. You can’t make this kind of stuff up. I also love the subtle mention of the “L” word there at the end of the letter. Sorta that hint, hint thrown in for good measure.

gailcalled's avatar

@bkcunningham: I am wondering whether he is welching on our deal over the Star Wars/Death Planet matching fund. This sounds like a different set.

Anyway, I am having lots of fun with this and hope that he will too.

Does the fur on hamsters grow and need to be trimmed? On gerbils or Guinea Pigs?

SpatzieLover's avatar

@gailcalled Does the fur on hamsters grow and need to be trimmed? On gerbils or Guinea Pigs?
At times, yes. Not on gerbils. On long hair guinea pigs, definitely. On teddy bear hamsters, often. If it gets too long they can get stuck in their wheel. (sadly, this sometimes causes injury or death) I have given my share of “furcuts”.

The letter is adorably sweet and touching, especially from a boy.

gailcalled's avatar

Edit; That’s “negotiating.”

JLeslie's avatar

Gosh, one of the best things about that letter will be giving it back to him when he is 20. My MIL has cards my husand write and they are the sweetest thing. My grandma kept a story my aunt (her youngest daughter) wrote in elementary school because it was so clever. I loved learning about these things as the niece and daughter in law. Maybe make a special box where you keep these things he has written.

I think just by writing him back and being interested, plus maybe revealing something about yourself will keep him interested. Waiting a week or two is a good idea, so he doesn’t feel pressure to respond immediately. I know as a kid I loved getting mail addressed to me.

I received a note in the mail from my aunt yesterday. I talk to her 2 to 3 times a week now, because I help her a lot since she is ill. She wrote it in her chicken scratch on lined paper from a note pad. It was really nice to get the letter.

bkcunningham's avatar

My 92 year old father was an avid letter writer. I still send him postcards now from locations where I visit or just a note to say hello and “I love you.” He keeps them on the dining room table along with any other letters, cards or photos he wants to share with visitors.

I also found the most beautiful birthday card to send him for his September 11 birthday. It unfolded into a bouquet of flowers. (Like this:

He loved, loved, loved that card. I bet your nephew would love the idea of a postcard every now and again, @gailcalled, or the three-D greeting card.

I realize that the idea is the art of letter writing. Maybe a shorter version on an interesting postcard thrown into the mix might help keep his interest. Or a letter placed inside a nice greeting card. His Mom could encourage him to display the card and it would be a reminder of you and your correspondence.

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