I sent this birthday text to a friend. She’s not on Facebook (I know, the horror!) but she does have an iPhone (finally!) so I can send her a message to let her know I’m thinking about her as I do every time the calendar flips to her day. It may seem impersonal. I mean, if I was a real friend I’d send a card, right? But, let me defend my impersonal communication as something much deeper than a quick dashed-off text.
I used to be an excellent gift-giver and card sender. I’d spend hours perusing shops for just the right Hallmark message or cute trinket to show someone how much I cared. I love buying things for people and sending messages along to let them know they were important enough to me to go out and spend time and money on them.
Then I had kids and no longer was I in possession of time or money. No matter how busy or broke I got though, I never stopped thinking about the people I loved. I always remember birthdays, most anniversaries and even random days that are special to us for other reasons. But I’d forget to buy a card in time or if I did I’d forget to send it in time. I once had THE PERFECT card for my sister-in-law that moved to three different houses before I delivered it to her on a day nowhere near her birthday just because I still wanted her to see the sentiment attached. I was a mess.
It haunted me, this lack of follow-up and follow through.
Then, I discovered texting.. The beauty of this type of delivery is that I can do it whenever I’m thinking of someone (even if it’s 2am) and almost nothing can stop me from sending my thoughts to them (even three kids, grad school and a full-time job). The thing is, this isn’t rote or simple for me. I really mean the things I say in texts and even on your facebook wall. I really do wish I was there with you to celebrate, or comfort or commiserate with. I really have been thinking about you a lot. I really get excited at the prospect of sending you a message that communicates you mean so much to me. I hope you read it that way.
I may have lost my touch with cards and gifts, but I haven’t lost that heart that holds you amazing people in it. I hope my friends and family know this and can feel the love through their tiny screens.
P.S. Looking for more parenting guidance and tips for self-care? Check out From Chaos to Calm a guided training to help you feel better in this tough season.