I remember the first time my daughter learned how to write the first letter in her name.
“One line down, another line down, then one across!” we’d say.
She practiced and practiced until she finally got it. Once she began preschool, she started to learn how to write her full name. Her teacher started with uppercase letters and my daughter would come home from school everyday determined to practice, practice, practice. Finally, her hard work paid off and she could spell her first name:
I would see it scribbled on every paper she came into contact with. She was so proud.
I was so proud.
After she conquered uppercase, she moved to the lowercase letters. And before we knew it she was writing her name with the first letter uppercased and the rest in lowercase. This was a big deal in her world.
That was the starting point of something Harlan now takes deep pride in. She loves to write. She takes a pencil and paper with her everywhere she goes and draws a picture with a one-sentence “story” above it. Any chance she gets, you’ll find her sitting at a table just writing away. It’s become a passion of hers, and it’s something that I love watching.
The best part? She’s taken this passion and is using it for good — writing me sweet letters she leaves around the house, in places she knows I’ll find them. Sometimes they are just to tell me she loves me. Others tell me about her day. I call them our love letters; letters of love from my daughter.
Now that she’s learning to read, I can write letters back to her, and our tradition is growing. It’s becoming more in depth, and I am loving every second of it. It’s a tradition that I hope we continue on throughout our lives. Letters to one another, no matter how short or far the distance is between us. Letters, handwritten between my daughter and me that only we know about. Our little secret.
She’s only five, but it’s something that means a lot to her. Even with all of the technology in the world available to her, she still appreciates the art of a handwritten letter.
This is why we both love the concept of “Dear Sofia,” a Disney Junior initiative that encourages kids to put pen to paper. Sofia the First fans can write handwritten letters (like the one above) to Princess Sofia — and she writes one back!
They even have an interactive tool inviting parents to help their child pick their own stationary and decorate it with Sofia-themed stickers to print and mail.
So if your child loves to write, or if you want to encourage them to practice, have them write a letter to Princess Sofia. Who knows? It may start a whole new tradition in your family!