When my kids were growing up, my husband’s mother faithfully sent them a card and money every birthday until they were eighteen. With our six kids and the children of my hubby’s six siblings, those were a lot of birthdays to remember.
When our kids received these gifts, they were always pleased, and would have been quite disappointed if the card didn’t come in the mail. Yet, we never thought to teach them to write a thank you card. Maybe we were too busy, probably we were too thoughtless, but we often didn’t even acknowledge its receipt until we happened to see Grandma next time.
As a mother, I just didn’t think about it, and if we got a call asking if the card had arrived, I figured it was because Grandma wanted to make sure the mailman had indeed delivered it.
But now, as a Gran myself, I realize there is another reason. When my grandkids call or write and are so thankful and excited about my gift, it makes me want to get them more and more. But if they don’t bother to even acknowledge it, then my desire to send something next time diminishes a little.
Looking back, my mother-in-law had much more love and patience than I do now that I’m in her position. And I sure wish I had taught my children the lost art of thank you.