Life as a Writer, Disney World Cast Member, and
Big Sister through Foster Care & Adoption
Welcome back to Taylor Talks!
Alright, so I'm totally and completely exhausted, but I had a memory that I wanted to share tonight. Let me first start with a question... Have you ever had a pen pal?
Well today on Facebook I saw a memory that told me how long I've been "friends" with my cousin online. Included in that memory was a picture of us at a party for our great-grandmother's 90th birthday, when we were just nine (me) and ten (her) years old. We looked so happy, with these big grins on our faces, and our pretty party dresses on... It's a pretty cute picture. We were really thrilled to be together though, because it was rare for us to be hanging out like that.
You see, for the majority of our lives, we lived in New York and my cousin's family lived in Florida. A few years back, they actually had moved to Texas, but it was the same thing basically; we lived so far apart and we never got to see each other. But in our childhood years, there was no Facebook, Twitter, Instagram... there wasn't even Myspace yet if I remember correctly, but I know that Myspace became a big deal when I was in middle school. When we were in elementary school, however, the only way we could communicate was through snail mail.
Yes, I know, remember the days when you actually had to send letters to people? Boy, kids today don't know what they're missing! Seriously, I love social media as much as the next girl, but I miss the excitement of getting something fun in the mailbox. My cousin and I decided that we wanted to be pen pals at some point, and we used to send things back and forth to each other all of the time. Before we moved down here, I actually had found a box of stuff that I had saved up from those old pen pal days. It was incredible, like opening a time capsule!
We used to send letters, crafts that we made, drawings for each other, cards... it was so sweet. I remember when I had been looking through the box of items I found, I was laughing because the topics of each letter were so silly; what kinds of animals we liked or what our new favorite hobby was. We were really into the letter-writing thing, and it was a lot of fun. At some point though, maybe when social media became a big thing, the pen pal days came to an end.
I actually remember being pen pals with a friend of mine too, around the same time. We were best friends in fifth grade, but she moved to Vermont the summer before we went to middle school. We used to do the same thing, sending letters, pictures, and drawings to each other... It used to be the cool thing to have a pen pal. What happened?
If I remember by the time all of my siblings get home from school tomorrow, I'll have to ask them if they even know what pen pals are. It's weird how much life has changed just from the time that I was a kid to when my siblings are now growing up. I kind of wish that they had all experienced the elementary schools years without tablets, DS games, and phones, because I think that my brother and I had pretty awesome childhoods without those things. Whether it was playing basketball outside (my brother... one of the only times I joined in on the game, I broke my finger!) or sitting around writing letters and reading 20 books a day (alright, maybe not 20, but I was an extremely quick reader), we had lots to keep us busy without electronics.
So tell me, did you have a pen pal? What do you miss about the days before electronics and social media?
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My family has been doing foster care since I was three years old. I'm the only biological child in my family, though I now have five permanent siblings. Having nineteen siblings over the course of my lifetime has been an incredible experience, and I'm hoping that by sharing some of the ups and downs of being the only bio kid in a foster family, other foster families or people looking into doing foster care will be able to learn a bit of what life can be like. I also like to share what life is like on my journey to becoming a published author, as well as where my schooling and career choice are taking me.