Communication is so easy and immediate these days. Texting, tweeting, facebooking. Who needs a landline anymore, or regular old snail mail? Even email seems quaint!
When my husband left for Texas, he suggested that we email each other back and forth, in addition to texting. It made sense– we could share so much more in an email–things that weren’t urgent or on the fly. One of my favorite things about e-mailing is that I find it easier to express myself in writing, to say the things that I find it hard to say out loud.
What I didn’t expect was that waiting for an e-mail from him would be like waiting for a letter to show up in my mailbox! We are both so busy, and a long e-mail full of updates and the little things we share with each other means that we have to find time to sit and write the e-mail. I find myself waiting in anticipation for a e-mail response from him. It’s kind of like the early days of our relationship, when I couldn’t wait to see him again and felt giddy at the prospect of it.
It’s the same feeling I used to get as a kid when I had a pen pal, never knowing when the letter would show up, and wondering what the letter would say. To this day, I love checking the mailbox and wondering what surprises it might hold for me. Of course, as a grown-up, I’m more likely to find bills and other boring stuff but every once in a while, I’ll get a package I forgot I was expecting or a new book to be reviewed.
In this age of instant gratification, there is something to be said for slow communication, to have no choice but wait for a response, to have something to look forward to, to know that whatever response you get, it wasn’t off the cuff– someone took the time and care to craft a letter and share their thoughts with you, to make your day a little more special.
And so I wait for my husband’s response to my latest e-mail. Whenever it comes, I know it’ll make me smile.
This post was inspired by The Mapmaker’s Children by Sarah McCoy, a novel about two women connected by an Underground Railroad doll. Join From Left to Write on May 19th as we discuss The Mapmaker’s Children. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.This post contains affiliate links.