Note: Originally posted on Blog Around the World, a wonderful blogging community whose time came and went, but the relationships live on. This is posted here for posterity.
What an honor for me to be invited as guest blogger at Blog Around the World today! This is such an amazing bunch of travelers, isn't it? It occurs to me that the one thing that brought us all into the blogosphere in the first place is that we all believe in the power of words...and more specifically, the written word.
One time I was listening to a nationally broadcast radio call-in program for teenagers. I usually liked what the host had to say to the kids who called in, but on this particular night, I took issue with one of his responses. So much so, that I wrote him a letter. A few weeks later a colleague of mine said, "Way to go, Tracy! I heard (the host) read your letter on his show last night!" Well I was sure glad she heard him, because I had missed it, and he never wrote me back. But from then on, he changed the kind of response he gave to kids in similar situations. The power of words.
So imagine my pleasure when my own kids started discovering the power of the written word for themselves. One day a couple of summers ago, my daughter invited a friend over to run through the sprinkler. My son caught wind of it before said friend arrived, and realized such a plan would invade his backyard baseball diamond during batting practice. He solved that problem by placing signs on both sides of the house.
A few months ago I sent my kids to their rooms to "cool off" when they had a problem they couldn't seem to solve for themselves. My daughter slipped this under her brother's door to settle it once and for all. Happy that she was beginning to "use her words", I encouraged her with this letter of empathy. It seems that my little letter was just what she needed, because only a few weeks later in a similar situation, Bethany expressed herself much more clearly. (Note all the parts of a friendly letter, properly placed and punctuated!)
Now we're getting somewhere. Next thing you know, she'll be penning a sequel to War and Peace. Move over Tolstoy.