We took Eden on her first international adventure when she was just shy of 12 weeks old, it wasn’t so much of an adventure to her as it was to us. I still remember that long weekend in Brugges like it was yesterday; from sitting on the floor of a train to nurse her because there were no vacant seats, Matt running all over Brugges trying to find some medication to bring down her fever to waking hourly to check on her as it was in Brugges she decided to start sleeping 12-13 hours a night. And of course it was Brugges where Matt proposed to me with Eden in the front pack! Its hard to believe it was over 4 years a go now.
I wasn’t nervous about traveling with kids however I was worried that there was a certain etiquette, things you did or didn’t do that I didn’t know about so the researcher I am I purchased a book all about traveling with children. The book itself wasn’t overly helpful, maybe if it’s your first time traveling but if you have traveled before most of it was just common sense. Throughout the book they had anecdotes from people who have traveled with children, these were by far the best part of the entire book. One person wrote about how she entertained her children and I particularly loved this one idea she had…her children picked a postcard wherever they went, wrote a story or simply drew a picture and posted it home. Obviously at 12 weeks old Eden was unable to do this activity so I decided to do it for her and thus Postcards to Eden was born.
Almost everywhere we go I write her a postcard, I say almost because sometimes I don’t come across any or I run out of time to look (Macau for instance) but the majority of the places we have visited Eden has a postcard written to her from me. They vary in content, some are funny stories, others are more informative; where we ate, slept, visited, most of them have something along the lines “I hope you re-visit when you are old enough to appreciate” and all are signed off “Love Mama”.
They stay in her room, on the top shelf of her wardrobe, in a box, which my dearest friend (and bridesmaid) Heloise decorated in travel themed paper and gifted to Eden for our Italian wedding back in 2012, with a beautiful note written on the inside. Not very often, but sometimes we get them down and look through the 50+ postcards, we pick our favorites and least favorites (Eden’s Paris Disney postcard is still a firm favorite for her) but I have yet to read any to her. I think it would be nice for her, when she is older, to read them herself; also I hate reading things I have written.
Lately Eden has taken a strong interest in learning to read and write and I am trying to find fun ways to encourage this and that’s when it came to me…Eden is now ready to draw/write her own postcards. Our recent trip to Hong Kong I still picked out and wrote her postcards; now that I have started I don’t think I will ever stop, but Eden also picked out a couple. The first one she drew a picture of a dolphin and as soon as we returned to Okinawa we posted it to a dear friend, the other postcard has now made its way to her postcard box up on the shelf in her wardrobe, waiting for the next time we feel like flicking through them.
Eden and I have talked about it and we have decided that we will purchase postcards on a regular(ish) basis where she can write/draw and then post. With so many of our family and friends living across oceans I think this is a great idea to introduce to her the importance of staying in touch!
If I don’t already have your address and you would like to one day receive one of Eden’s postcards flick me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and you never know, you might be the next lucky recipient of one of her masterpieces!