Wednesday, March 28, 2012

what to say to a sailor {if you're 8}



I know I've mentioned it before, but I have really been trying to find ways to get my kids {especially our 8 year old} to find their place in a big world, by recognizing just how big the world is and by doing for others.  You can read about our first two projects here and here....

We decided that the next project on the list would be sending a care package to the troops overseas.  Our old neighbor and friend is in the Navy and is currently on a long deployment.  I thought it would be fun to send him a box of goodies.  We took the boys last weekend and shopped for trail mix and snacks and magazines and Starbucks via coffee packs.

And...we were also able to add something very special to the box, thanks to the willingness of Reid's teacher, who offered to have the class join in our little project.

All of the children in Reid's 2nd grade class wrote a letter to a sailor.  Reading the letters, I had chills.  They are so adorable and innocent.  Children are just so naturally sweet and they just say what comes to mind.  It's not "practiced" like a letter from an adult would be.  I loved them all. 

I copied them below because I thought they were just so sweet.  Most of them introduced themselves with their name and school and some of them wrote where they live.  I omitted those parts.  Except that first one. He's MY boy ;) 

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"Dear Sailor, Thank you for our freedom.  I hope you got my mom's food bag.  My name is Reid.  I am 8.  I like legos.  What is your name and are you a boy or a girl?"


"Dear Sailor, Thank you for fighting for our country.  I hope you come home soon and safe.  I am in second grade.  I love my teacher so much!  I am in Brownies.  I hope you got the cookies!  Please write me back."


"Dear Sailor, Thank you for fighting for our country.  I hope you come back to land with your family.  Thank you for our country's freedom.  My class is so thankful for you, your the one who saves our country.  My class says I'm the fastest runner in my class.  I have one brother.  Please write me back."


"Dear Sailor, Thank you for fighting for our country.  I hope you come back safe.  I am 8 years old.  I like to play football.  I also like skateboarding.  Do you like to play football?"


"Dear Sailor, Thank you for fighting for our country.  Do you like cup cakes?  Are you a boy or a girl?  I am a boy.  Do you get summer off?  Please write me back."


"Dear Sailer, Thank you for fighting for our people and our country.  I hope you come back not injured in the war.  What is your name?  Is it hard being in the Navy?  Is it cool being in the Navy?  I like to play soccer at my house.  Do you like to play soccer at your house?  It is a fun sport.  I have a dog and brother and 1 mom and dad.  I'm in 2nd grade.  I'm 7 years old."


"Dear Sailor, Thank you for fighting for freedom.  I hope you come home safely.  I hope you are doing a good job in the war.  Thank you for freeing our country.  Is your ship big?  Do you sleep during war?  Do you sleep in your ship?  Did you get any girl scout cookies?  Did you get lots?  Did you Tagalongs, Samoas?  Any others?  Are you a boy or girl?  Please write back."


"Thank you for fighting for our country.  I hope you come back safe.  I am seven years old.  I turn 8 on March 25, 2012.  I like to play soccer."


"Thank you for fighting for our country.  I hope you come back safe...I like to draw a lot."


"Dear Sailor, Thank you for fighting for our country.  I hope you return home well.  What is your name?  How long have you been fighting?  Please write back."


"Dear Sailor, Thank you for fighting for our country.  I hope you come back safe.  I am in 2nd grade.  I like to bike and skateboard.  Please send me back a letter."


"Dear Sailor, Thank you for our freedom.  Do you miss your family?  Are you a girl or a boy?  I am 7 years old.  I am in 2nd grade.  I am in brownies."


"Dear Sailor, Thank you for fighting for our country.  I hope you come back safe to your family.  I hope you got my thin mints.  I am in Brownies.  Please write back."


"Dear Sailor, Thank you for fighting for our country.  I hope you come home safe.  I hope you are doing good."


"Dear Sailor, Thank you for fighting for our country.  I hope you see your family soon.  I'm in second grade.  I like soccer, skateboarding, and basketball.  I'm eight years old.  What do you like to do?  Please write back."


"Dear Sailor, Thank you for fighting for us.  I hope you come back safe.  I'm eight and a 1/2 years old.  My favorite colors are pink, purple and blue.  I'm in second grade.  My three favorite people in my life are my four year old brother and my mom & dad.  My favorite food is rice.  Can you please write back?"


"Dear Sailor, How is your boat?  What country are you in?  I am 8 years old.  I like school."


"Dear Sailor, Thank you for fighting for our freedom.  I hope you win the war and come home safely.  I am in 2nd grade.  I love to read books."


"Dear Sailor, I'm thankful for you fighting for our country.  I hope you come back safely.  By the way, my name is _____.  I'm in the second grade.  What do you usually eat?  Write back please."


"Dear Sailor, Thank you for fighting for our freedom.  I hope you stay safe on the ship.  I hope you are doing great.  I am in second grade.  I am 8 years old.  I am a Brownie. I hope you got 7 boxes of Tagalongs.  Somebody bought cookies for the troops.  Please write back."


Dear Sailor, Thank you for fighting for our country.  I hope you come back safe.  I am in second grade."


"Dear Sailor, Thank you for fighting for our country.  I hope you come back safely.  I am a boy.  I am in 2nd grade.  I like to play video games.  I love reading books."

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The boys also made paintings last weekend that we included in the box. 



Reid's says "Thank you for freedom."  He makes me proud.

I love this little journey we've started with the kids.  It's amazing how fun and rewarding it is to work on these projects as a family.  As we keep going, my hope is that my kids learn to see that we are all part of a great big world and that there is joy in helping others and looking outside of ourselves.  

I hope it cultivates generosity and kindness in them and that they grow into young men who care about other people. 



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