Back in the early days of this blog, I wrote a number of posts that nobody ever saw. “Sixty-one views?” I’d say, aghast. “For the whole month?”
So, with your permission, I thought I’d pull an old post out of the pile and reintroduce it to a (hopefully) larger audience.
Feel free, as always, to comment with reckless abandon! I do so love your comments.
One of the ways I hoped to get my (then-three-year-old) son interested in reading was to leave him little notes at the breakfast table. After all, what could be more fun than getting a loving note every morning from your dear ol’ Dad?
But, since I am incapable of doing anything in a small way, I took my note idea to the next level. It’s always fun to get mail, so I sealed each note in an envelope; printed my son’s name and address on the front; and, for that extra dose of authenticity, drew on a stamp. (“Celebrate Cows,” was the first subject.) “There!” I thought. “That will get my boy interested in reading!”
Instead, it got my boy interested in stamp collecting. From the second note on, he carefully ripped the stamp off the envelope and stored it in a shoebox. The notes were glanced at briefly, handed to Mom to read aloud, and then discarded without a second thought. So while I’m pleased to report that my son – who is now six – reads with enthusiasm, my grand note experiment had absolutely nothing to do with it.
77 Replies to “My Very First Repost: Sunday Sketches”
Or maybe it did, just not in the way you expected. Kids! They never do what you expect of them…and always deliver such brilliant surprises! xoM
Indeed they do!
In line with what Margarita says, maybe your son registered your method, just matter-of-factly. It all contributed to his enthusiasm for reading today. I love your creativity and illustrations.
Aw, thanks, Sandee!
By the way, I so prefer your new avatar pic!
What a fantastic idea to get your son interested in reading. I love your stamps!
Thanks so much! I did enjoy doing them.
I don’t know what it is about your posts, Mike, but they always bring a smile to my face. Thanks for sharing your creative voice with us!
Thanks, Todd! You’re gonna give me a swelled head.
My girls will love you… You are way creative than their mom who can’t draw a circle to save her life lol. Great post
And I can’t write poetry to save my life, so it all evens out.
Adorable idea . . . wish I thought of it! I used to put notes in the kids lunch bags now and then. I recently discovered one of my daughters kept them all. You are making memories!
Who says you can’t start again now? I’ll bet your Army daughter would love a little doodle in her Care Package.
Good point! Care to doodle me a doodle since I am lousy at such things?
Gimmie a little time — but yes.
No, no, no . . . I was kidding! Save your doodles for your son.
Pish tosh! I would be honored to support the military in this way!
Aren’t you kind.
Remind me: What did your daughter call Army issue prescription glasses?
Birth Control Glasses, or BCGs. I have a feeling a funny doodle is coming her way!
That is an accurate feeling.
How fun! I used to write my older daughter notes for her lunch, until she decided she was too old. Now I’m writing them for my younger daughter, who is trilled she can read them all by herself.
Sorry–thrilled. Though she does trill a lot when she’s excited, so tomato-tomahto.
I prefer trilling.
Pfft. You’re never too old for a lunch note.
When I was around 12, I thought I was too old for toys — so I purged them from my room. To this day I’m making up for that stupid move, ’cause, well, toys are fun!
I did THE EXACT SAME THING when I was 12! One of my biggest regrets.
Don’t worry. All the stuff worth having is still around. Just today my wife and I talked about getting a Spirograph.
And my new Magic 8 Ball may now be written off as a business expense: https://mikeallegra.com/2012/08/11/uh-oh-its-magic/
What a great idea! I just love the fact that he was drawn more to the stamps than the notes inside the envelopes…
Well, I won’t lie to you. It’s easy to run out of things to write about when the recipient of your letter is a three-year old.
Stamps on the other hand…
Still love your drawings! 🙂 And still love you! 😉 (In a blogging buddy way, just in case anyone reads this and gets the wrong idea!).
I particularly like the shower one, it has such movement, I can practically see the water moving.
Awww! I love you right back (in the same blogging buddy kinda way, of course)!
I drew about three dozen stamps for my little guy, and the shower one is my favorite, too. (I like the way I used color to make the kid look wet.)
Although I am quite impressed by your stamps, I’m perhaps more impressed that you wrangled your 3 yr old to the breakfast table on a regular basis. Maybe that’s how good philatelists are created.
And, thanks to you and Google, I now know what a philatelist is!
I love your drawings! Something to keep in mind as your son gets older: Kids rarely do what is expected of them. I know. It’s surprising.
I’ve been reading to my kids (now almost 12 and 10) since they were born. Seriously. Have they written a novel yet? No. I am sorely disappointed. ; )
Wait a minute. Have YOU finished YOUR novel yet?
You’re so demanding. Geez.
Don’t these kids have like ten times more energy than I do and all the time in the world?
Yes, they do. But I have no desire to read a novel by a 10-year-old. So write!
I got a chuckle when I read your son was more interested in the stamps than your notes! I do like the creativeness of your stamps though, and I’d probably have collected them, too! 🙂
By the way, I have been thinking about your Thanksgiving craft request and came up with a couple of ideas, although I haven’t had time to try them out, yet. My first thought was a cornucopia that kids could fill with their favourite foods drawn on construction paper and cut out with safety scissors (depending on the age of the kids). The second idea was gluing cotton ball ‘whipping cream’ onto pictures of pumpkin pie, either the whole pie or just a piece of it. If these ideas appeal to you, I will try to sketch them out to see what works best. 🙂
Wow, Susan! I didn’t expect you to take me up on the craft thing (but I’m glad you did)! I love the pumpkin pie one.
Love it. Love. It.
That is excruciatingly clever and adorable.
Thank you, Weebles!
My prediction? He’s going to be an illustrator or an art collector. Or maybe he” choose to collect graphic novels? My son has recently discovered them, something I’m not too excited about at the moment. We try to lead them down the manicured garden path, but they choose the compost pile, the weeds, the untended wilderness at the garden’s edge and beyond..
And you just reminded me that I need to send you a couple of hundreds pounds of butter….
Alex has no real interest in drawing — at least not yet. But who knows? This kid o’ mine surprises me every day.
And if you send butter, I will carve it. Any requests?
Your sense of humor shines through once again!
Now what’s wrong with collecting stamps? I did as a kid.
Thanks for conjuring up good old memories! 🙂
Clearly there is nothing wrong with collecting stamps; my son does it!
Oh I know. I was joking around. 😀
By the way, feel free to print my stamps out and add them to your collection.
Great idea! Thanks!
What a good idea, I was thinking of stealing your idea and putting the notes in their lunch boxes. Love the drawings.
Since you have announced on your blog that I am not snobby, you are welcome to steal the idea without fear of recimination!
Brilliant and well worth the re blog – with stamps like that I’d be a collector too:-)
Keep your eyes peeled; more stamps are to come!
Have a great Sunday. 🙂
This is cute. My Dad always did fun stuff like this, but I never thought of keeping it. It would be such a treasure to come across an old box of something like this.
Good for you for reposting. I’ve considered this myself. SOme of my early posts were great, but were only seen by five people, and four of them were probably me before I figured out how to make the site not count my own hits. **sigh** it was so hard getting started.
Go ahead and repost. You are a very prolific blogger, after all. You earned a little vaycay! 🙂
Yeah, eventually my mind will dry up and I’ll be forced to dwell into the past.
Well, my mind hasn’t dried up yet, either. Sheesh!
Pooh! Not what I meant. I was talking about ME bing bong brain. 🙂
Very cute, and any interest you generated in ANYTHING is great. I used to draw on my daughter’s paper lunch bag with she was little and off to daycare. Those little drawings you created are signs of sure-fire love and your son felt it.
Yep. He still has all but two of the early ones — Celebrate Cows and Celebrate Seuss. I created “Rare Reissues” of both of them to complete his collection.
Glad you re-blogged this. I hadn’t crossed paths with your blog then. I like your idea here. 😀 😀
No one had crossed path with my blog then.
So glad you’re here now, Tess!
😀 😀 😀 Glad to know you, Mike.
Mike, you do not give the boy enough credit. He obviously knew that your stamps would become a coveted item and wanted to make sure he was in possession of the first ones…which in most cases are considered to have the greatest value! 😀 😀
He is a wiser man than I, that’s for sure.
Celebrate Cows–hmm, maybe this is the cover of thst cow joke book that I keep boomeranging around to publishers. I think it would sell if they could actually see a cow on a pogo stick *hint kaff kaff*
Lemme say this. If you really do have a cow joke book manuscript, I’ll do your cover in a New York minute.
Oh yeah, it’s ready and waiting and is being considered as we speak. But after two months I am ready to send it out to some other opportunity.
No foolin? You have a manuscript?
100 cow jokes, riddles, and knock knocks interspersed with fascinating facts like how many squirts it takes to fill a pail. I’m very serious about my cow jokes. I just wish publishers would take me more seriously. I have received the nicest rejection letters. Sterling almost was interested but it fell through right about the time I got my hopes up.
Hmm. That does change things, doesn’t it?
But I’m still trotting it out to other markets. Perhaps a sample illustration is what’s needed. Maybe we email about terms. Do you charge by the hoof or pound?
Shoot me an email. I’m swamped at the moment but I am also intrigued…
I’m celebrating birthdays with my grand kiddo so it will be end of the week when I get to my files. Nothing like celebrating birthday fun with an eight year old. They are magical. And their energy could could Chicago running for at least a week.
Oh–the title is Udder Stuff and Nonsense. That should inspire you.