I am a child of the late 1970s — early ’80s — it was a great time to be a kid. Times have changed so much and I am reminded daily of the things my boys will never know or experience.
Last week while I was cleaning out some boxes, I ran across a bag of old notes that my best friend and I used to pass back and forth during class or in the hallway. The art of passing notes is one of those “rite of passage” moments for pre-teen and teenage girls that has bit the dust since the invention of texting. The notes that I passed to my friends were about boy crushes, weekend plans, teacher news and plain old gossip. It was always fun to try and pass notes during class and not get caught — risky business, because if the teacher intercepted your note, it was read aloud to the class leading to embarrassment and ridicule. Now, I realize that in today’s world, pre-teens and teenagers are texting to their friends about the same stuff — although I’m sure our notes were much more tame than what texts are today (think sexting). But those same teens will not be able to look at their cell phones in 30 years (will we still have them in 30 years?) and laugh at the texts they sent back and forth with their best friends.
When I read a few of the notes last week, I realized that my writing skills and creative juices flowed freely and the story telling was interesting. My best friend and I wove stories about the boys we had crushes on and how our lives would go from giggling teenagers to rock star parents. We drew pictures, added conversation bubbles, pretend music and sounds in the background — all very dramatic and funny. Can texting do the same thing? Yes, I’m sure there is some kind of animation app for that — but truly it isn’t the same thing.
I’m not saying that kids should start passing notes all the time in school for fears my boys’ teachers will “dislike” my ideas, but I do believe that creative writing skills should be encouraged in whatever way will excite the kids. So, if being able to write a note and pass it to a friend, as long as the information isn’t hurtful, I say bring back the note passing!
The art of passing a note can continue into your adult life. If you want to make a co-worker smile, just drop a funny note off at their desk. Send someone a handwritten note card to let them know you are thinking about them — the ideas are endless. Leave notes around the house for your kids to find, let them know how much you love them or compliment their behavior — make them smile.
Go ahead and join with me to bring back the art of passing notes — you know you want to.
• Leah Derewicz is a 15-year Ahwatukee Foothills resident. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.