Back in my day, when you were 7 years old and wanted to write a note to your mom, you found paper, and a pencil, and if you wanted to make it colorful - crayons, stickers, and markers as well. Well, kids today apparently have too much to do in their busy lives to bother with the archaic methods of communication such as letter writing, what with piano lessons, Guitar Hero, Barbie.com, etc. Luckily, there is a solution to this problem. It's e-mail. That's right, e-mail.
About 2 weeks ago, Zariah asked me to please help her set up "that thing on the computer where you can send messages to people." I helped her set up her very own e-mail account that night on Yahoo. And I have to tell you, I don't think anyone in the history of the world checks their e-mail as frequently as Zariah did those first few days. No kidding.
Case in point: After a quick weekend trip to California about a week after she got her e-mail account, she woke up in the car at about 11:00 pm and started begging me to let her check her e-mail when we got home. We were still about an hour away from home and all I wanted to do when we got there was take my shoes off (optional) and go to bed (mandatory.) She begged, pleaded, implored, beseeched, cried, (insert synonym here) until I finally had to threaten to shut down her e-mail account if she asked me one more time. It kept her quiet, but she was anything but happy about it. It didn't matter that I tried to explain several times that anyone who would have sent her an e-mail was in the car with her or had just spent the weekend in California with her. She would not be appeased. As far as she was concerned I was ruining her life, possibly forever. (Yes, apparently another benefit to today's fast moving society is that you can start ruining your children's life at the ripe old age of 7, you don't have to wait until they are teenagers.) I think she may have finally forgiven me, but she is only slightly less anxious now about checking her e-mail than she was when she first got her account.
On a positive note, I get to come into work to the funniest, cutest, most colorful e-mail messages ever received. I don't think she has repeated the same font color or background color yet. I don't know who taught her how to do that, but she sure knows how. It is such a joy to be sifting through 23 business related e-mails and stumble upon a bright pink "GOOD MORNING MOMMY!" message from Zariah. The first day she got the account, my first message (in vivid light purple) was "Win are you gowing to send me an e-mail." Yes, I am more than a little amused that a girl who has trouble spelling "when" and "going" can apparently spell "e-mail" without a problem. However, it always brings a smile to my face to see an e-mail in my inbox from Zariah.
It's also a great medium for me to send messages to her like: I love you, and How was school, and Don't forget to practice the piano today. When she was out of school a couple of weeks ago, we were e-mailing back and forth and I asked her if she was excited to go to California, she replied back "Yes;" I asked her if she wanted to get started packing her suitcase, her reply was "NO!!" Simple, succinct, to the point. No beating around the bush for this girl. My all time favorite e-mail, so far, came this morning. It said (in lime green on a dark green background), "Hay What Up. Cool Osm Wicid." If you can't have a good day after an e-mail like that first thing in the morning, there's no hope for you.
So, if you get a minute and you really want to make someone's day, send a quick e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. There won't be a happier 7 year old in all the world. Truly. It would be Cool, Osm, AND Wicid.