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A Letter from the President

The other day I was bringing in the mail when I spotted a return address which said, “The White House.” The letter was addressed to my son. Then I remembered that a few months ago he came out of his bedroom with a picture/letter declaring that it was intended for President Obama and we should mail it to Washington, DC, right away.

When I told him he had mail his eyes lit up. When I told him the mail was a reply from the White House those same eyes nearly popped out of his head. 

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“Thank you for writing me. I am inspired by the messages of hope and determination I receive from students across America, and I appreciate your taking the time to share your thoughts…

"I encourage you to dream big, try to improve the lives of others, and aim for excellence in all that you do.”

Now, do I think for one second that POTUS sat down in the oval office of the White House and wrote a letter to my son? No. Does he? Absolutely, and that is really all that matters.

This got me thinking about how we live in the day of 140 characters and have forgotten about the value of a letter versus an e-mail or speaking in person rather than by text. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate those 140 characters. I would much rather shoot off a quick email, tweet or text than pursue the more time consuming alternative.

However, seeing the look on my son’s face has reminded me that there are times when it is truly valuable to take the longer route. That letter made him feel valued, respected and special. (He said it was even cooler than when his friend Josh brought home a gold bar from Alaska.) He could not wait to bring it to school and I know he will cherish it for years to come.

I think there is a lesson in there for me too. This week I am going to sit down and write some letters. I certainly do not expect the recipients’ eyes to pop out of their heads, but if I can give someone a smile or two it will be well worth my time.

Jessica Cohen is a Richboro, PA mom. Read her blog, Look Who Found the Marbles, at  FoundtheMarbles.com.

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