First-class mail delivery

Ever since our visit to the post office last week, Matthew has been very keen to play mailman.  Because Luke expressed zero interest in the game, I told Matthew I’d play with him, even though I was not entirely sure what it entailed.

“You go in there,” he said, pointing to the master bedroom, “and I will bring you the mail.”

“Sounds good,” I said, heading into the room.

“Wait!”  said Matthew as I was about to close the door.  “What do you want me to bring you?” (A mailman who takes requests!).

“How about a letter, and a magazine?”

“Okay,” he said happily, and disappeared.  I sat down at my desk and flipped through a catalog.  About two minutes later, there was a knock on the door.  I answered it to find Matthew, grinning broadly, handing me an envelope (I’d helped him track this down before we started the game) and a copy of Good Housekeeping, clearly taken from the end table in the living room.

“Wow, I was waiting for this!” I said. “Thank you, Mr. Mailman.”

“Can I bring you anything else?” he asked hopefully.

This went on for a few more rounds, and my pile of magazines grew.  Then the  letter carrier offered to draw me a picture.   He headed off to the dining room while I flipped through an old copy of Victoria.  About five minutes later, there was a knock on the door, and he handed me a picture of myself, drawn in blue ink.   My joy at this delivery was so great that mere minutes later, I received a hand-drawn picture of a car saying “Beep beep.”  I think the deliveries would have gone on and on were it not for the arrival of Scott, home from work, which effectively put an end to mail service for the day.

It was a memorable episode of imaginary play, because it was fascinating (and, frankly, adorable)  to see a five-year-old’s understanding of the postal service.   Even beyond that, it was really something to see how Matthew’s face lit up every time he handed me the mail and I reacted with delight.

They say that it’s better to give than to receive.   Sometimes, I think kids understand this better than the rest of us do.

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