Life Doesn't Fit in a File Folder Summer

BrickHouseChick’s Old-Fashioned Letter

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As my regular readers know, my son decided to go to overnight camp for 7 weeks this summer. Before the school year ended, I asked folks to consider sending him a letter. You know, to supplement mine.

To sweeten the pot, I promised that the author of the best letter would win a $25 gift card to somewhere, to be negotiated later with the winner.

I’ve already received a few letters, and today marks the first of the entries in the “Write My Kid an Old-Fashioned Letter” Contest.

Before we get to that, let me tell you about the postcard I received from my son the other day. A simple form letter, the no-nonsense blue postcard features a bunch of check boxes to let parents know our kids have arrived, been assigned to cabins, and unpacked a bit. Yadda yadda yadda.

Normally, my kid just checks things off and signs his name at the bottom.

This year, he had demands.

I can’t find my clipboard. Did I leave it at home? Also, I need a white collared shirt and long socks. Thanks.

{Note: Next year? The boy is  packing himself so we avoid moments like this.}

I hunted down a white shirt, found several pairs of tall socks, and tossed everything into a tiny pile on my son’s bedroom floor.

And then I went to find the clipboard.

My old clipboard.

I was sure I knew exactly where it was.

Except I didn’t.

I must have spent an hour ripping apart the house. I searched the main closet, the basement, my car — where I discovered the remains of a green salad I’d brought to a friend’s house a few nights before. The bowl was slimy and covered in mold.

But no clipboard.

I looked in my son’s bedroom, in his closet, in his dresser.

I was all: Did he take it to school? Did he leave it somewhere?

Then I got pouty.

My father’s gave me that clipboard when I became a counselor three decades ago. Over the next six years, I covered every square inch of it with stickers.

Most people throw away stuff like that, but I’ve held onto it.

Since 1983. 

Annoyed, I walked into my closet. It was the only place I hadn’t looked.

And, there it was.

I have no idea why my old clipboard was in my closet, but it was.

My clipboard, circa 1983-1989.

Yesterday, I learned my niece would be home for her first day off. She agreed to deliver the goods to the boy, so I bundled everything up and brought the bag of odds and ends to her.

He’s probably got the package in his hot little hands right now.

In fact, he’s probably reading the note I stuck inside the bag right about now.

Dear Tech:

Here’s the stuff you asked for.  Are you impressed I found a way to get everything to you just 3 days after receiving your requests? You should be.

About the clipboard. PLEASE don’t lose it. I know it’s just a clipboard, but I kind of love it.

Plus, it’s just a wicked good clipboard.

Also, you’ll notice I threw in a raincoat for you. Dude. The rain? Holy torrential downpour. Do you think it’s going to rain every day this summer? I’m guessing you don’t think you need a raincoat. Just take it. I’ll feel better knowing you have it and that you could be dry. If you wanted to.

xo Mom

See how lame my letters are?

Thank goodness BrickHouseChick wrote him an awesome letter, which I forwarded to him a few days ago!

Look at it? All orange and filled with cut-outs and swirly handwriting! Now that’s what I call a fabulous old-fashioned letter.

Entry 1: From BrickHouseChick! Click on the image to super-size it!

I’m grateful to BrickHouseChick for sending a fun letter to my kid. After six years of sending him faboosh letters, I so appreciate the assistance. If you haven’t met Maria yet, you should. She’s a wonderful blogging buddy, and I’m hoping she’ll submit a #SoWrong moment here sometime in the future! *hint hint*

If you’re interested in writing TechSupport a letter, it’s not too late. And you could win a $25 gift card if he thinks the letter you’ve sent is the best! Details about this contest are found HERE.

What are the odds that I’ll ever see my old clipboard again? Do you think he’ll wear that raincoat? What’s your favorite part of Maria’s letter?

tweet me @rasjacobson


52 thoughts on “BrickHouseChick’s Old-Fashioned Letter

  1. Oh I love that letter! How awesome! I am definitely inspired. Renee, you never sent me the address for the letter and I have someone going to the States or Canada shortly! If you get it to me, I’ll send Tech a letter too. But Maria set very high standards, hope I can live up to it 😉

  2. Brick House Chick will be hard to compete with. That was excellent!
    I still “suggest” ideas to the kids like rain gear. They are Colorado natives so are a hearty lot…You would thing that coming from Wisconsin I would be the same way and I am about myself, but with my kids I am “the overdresser!”

    1. Maria is a wonderful cyber-friend. Is she not? And I’m an over-dresser, too! Part of me thinks I shouldn’t have “rescued” him. But the other par of me was glad to send the raincoat. It’s rained every day since the beginning of June. Yuck.

  3. I am writing my Tech letter this weekend! I love Brickhousechick’s letter and I’m glad to steal her ideas. I mean…see how someone else did it.

  4. Renee! Thanks for featuring my letter! I had so much fun writing it and decorating it. I did it while at home alone, well with a gin and tonic in hand. 🙂 I hope he enjoys all the letters! I can’t get my kids to wear rain coats or use umbrellas! They look at me like I am crazy when I suggest they take an umbrella in a downpour… Hard to figure those creatures out sometimes. 🙂 Nice clipboard and I hope you get it back in once piece. I would be honored to write a #So Wrong Moment…I’ve got plenty of those! 🙂

    1. It really is a great letter! I KNOW he’ll love reading it! Seriously, it put my letters to shame. Mostly, I nag him and ask him if he is getting along with everyone. I tell him to confess how many items he has lost and ask him to tell me what he wants us to bring him on Visitors’ Day. He rarely never responds. *shrug* Luckily, I have spies who tell me things.

    1. Hi Kassandra! I’m sure the boy is having a great time at camp. Tonight the camp nurse called my Hubby to ask his opinion about something — and he got an update. And, yes, we are BOTH enjoying our time together. Every night is date night! 😉

  5. Well. I just have to say, that I am very glad that I already mailed my card to you, because after reading that most excellent and creative (and phat) letter, if I had not already sent my submission, I would probably be too discouraged to do so. That right there is so obviously the winner! I mean, I didn’t even include scratch & sniff stickers!! What was I thinking? I am so ashamed. She obviously has her eye on the prize.

    And I give you a 50/50 shot of getting that clipboard back. Only because he is so responsible. 😉

    1. Thanks, Misty for plugging the prize to go to moi! But, I know that this blogging group is a bunch of very talented, smart and creative bunch – so I’m sure it will be tough to choose a winner. So impressed with your use of “phat”, you could add “sick” to that and it would be even cooler. You must be quite the “cool mom”. 🙂

    2. Misty! I JUST got your letter today! It is fantastic, and it will be awesome to see if my kid can even read your fancy cursive handwriting. He might have to ask a counselor to translate. LOL!

      I can’t wait to showcase it here!

      Soon! 🙂

  6. Brick House Chick is pretty awesome, I agree…and the letter? How cool! As for your clip board…I have sentimental items like that…. I completely understand where you’re coming from about the idea that it could get lost.

    1. I’m glad I got a photo of it. Now if it gets lost? Okay, at least I have the memory. I can make peace with it. When I couldn’t find it? You should have seen me. I was frantic. But seriously? I hope he takes good care of it.

    1. Today I received several other letters, and I was positively giddy! I hope he enjoys reading them as much as I did! Wait until you read them! Seriously, I don’t know how I’m going to pick one winner. Hopefully the boy will have a strong opinion.

      1. LOL, don’t all kids have strong opinions? I love listening to kids talking because I always get a kick out of what comes out of their mouths, and then I think to myself….”Man, was I like that when I was young?” Good luck on judging!

        1. My son tends to see all the shades of grey. He’s kind of an old soul. Hopefully one letter will speak to his heart. Or his funny bone. If not, I’ll ask the girls across the street. They’ll pick a winner in .3 seconds.

  7. I LOVE that clipboard. I was just reminiscing today that I don’t have much in the way of “things” from my childhood … or for that matter, my CHILDREN’s childhood. Seriously love that clipboard!!

    1. That clipboard is like a time capsule. It has a sticker about driving sober and another from a tattoo parlor I went to with a former boyfriend. (He got inked. I watched.) One sticker is from the racquetball club where I took my first sip of beer. (Yuck.) There are all kinds of weird girly stickers that I’d collected since childhood which are in sharp contrast to the super feminist stickers I collected from my college days. I just love it. I really hope Tech doesn’t lose it. That would suck.

    1. Don’t you LOVE that she did that? Brilliant.

      As for the clipboard, I’m hoping that it makes it way home again at the end of August. But I’m not holding my breath. Glad I found it and took a few photos — front and back. 🙂

  8. Annoyed, I walked into my closet. It was the only place I hadn’t looked.

    And, there it was.

    Isn’t it amazing. The item is at the last place you look and just where you left it. (I did not put a ? after”Isn’t it amazing.” as I use it as a declarative sentence not interrogative).

    1. Thank you for the clarification, Carl. And I probably should have used a good old interrobang there — my favorite punctuation mark. The combination platter of ?!. Because for me it was declarative and interrogative. 🙂 I hope you are enjoying your weekend.

      By the way, I can’t believe you aren’t sending my kid a fabulous cartoon about summer camp and a short note. Are you crazy? You always win my contests? 🙂

    1. People keep asking if we miss him. Of course we miss him. Of course. But we use this time to reconnect with each other. It’s amazing how difficult it is to get back into the groove there. Tech has gone to camp for 6 summers, but never for this long. I’m pretty sure that when he comes home at the end of the month, it’s going to be pretty tough to put him back on the bus again for those last 3 weeks. That’s when it will feel different. Hold onto your son now. He’s going to come home a different person. (You know this, yes?)

    1. Hi darlin’! Thank you for loving my clipboard as much as I do. And if you don’t know Maria! Oh oh oh! She’s so generous. It’s hard to explain. She’s a very talented writer, so be sure to check out her REAL writing on her blog. See you at Yeah Write. 🙂

  9. thanks for the kick in the rear (gentle reminder) – it has been crazy lately ever since I drove to Mississippi and back to help my my step-mom join the 21st century…. I made post cards for Tech and needed to finish with a letter, but there hasn’t been a silent moment since (or so it seems)…he won;t wear the rain coat, he’ll just get wet, it’s not cool to wear a raincoat at least that’s my prediction and you WILL SEE your clipboard again, he’s that kinda kid. keep checking your mail box

    1. Not a kick in the rear. Just a reminder that there’s still time! I have to get the other notes up here! SO, yes, send me those post cards! Yes, please! He’ll love them! Each letter has been so different. I’m reminded how letters really do reflect the individual personality of the writer. I love looking at everyone’s penmanship. That ink really is a kind of intimacy, you know?

  10. Wow, I had no idea camp letters were so detailed. I’m glad to have a proper example for when the time comes and my kid goes. I sure hope you see that clipboard again. It’s awesome. I have a feeling if you do, it’s going to come back with more stickers on it.

  11. I sincerely hope you get that clipboard back! It looks whimsically solid. I love it. Also, the letter kind of matches it! They have a similar look going on. I love the old-school-ness of the letter, the inclusion of hang-man (rad!) and the cut-out images. My journals were all full of that when I was in college. It just looks so appealing!

    I am totally going to check out her blog now. With a letter like that, how could I not!

    1. Omigoodness! Got your letter today! LOVE love it! I can’t wait to put it up here! I’m so happy you got the kids involved. And I loved your card, too! Nice touch.

      Can’t wait to share your masterpiece with the world!

  12. Wow…you are brave sending that clipboard to camp. When he gets home, you should get him one of his own for next summer. That will give him the entire school year to decorate it with cool boy stuff. 🙂

    As for the letters from blogger friends…what a cool idea! But I have another suggestion (yes, I know, It’s easy to throw them out for others). Have you considered doing one humungous ‘letter,’ starting from the time he gets home…until he leaves again next summer? You could just add to it as you have time – and think of things you want to say to him. Maybe a funny joke or story you heard, but not tell him about. Even amusing memories of him and/or family members. Just add it all to the letter as it comes to mind, and then send it in installments while he’s at camp.

    Okay. Now I’m out of suggestions. 🙂

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