Thursday, December 06, 2007

I'm pretty sure this is a federal offense, but...

Last week I had Beth write a letter to Santa: she told me what to write, I wrote it, and she drew the pictures. It's darling. Something along the lines of "Dear Santa, I need a kitchen please" and going on from there. She's been a good girl, so has baby Sarah, and baby Sarah wants a dolly.

We then folded this up, placed it in an envelope, and let it sit around the house for several days. Last night we finally put a "stamp" on it (a Christmasy stamp-shaped sticker that came in the piles of junk mail) and this morning Beth drew a picture of Santa on the front (a few red and brown squiggles) and helped me put the letter in the mailbox.

I then told Scott it was his responsibility to take the letter out of the mailbox before the letter carrier came — you BET I want to save my kid's first letter to Santa! — and the girls and I headed to the mall to do some Christmas shopping.

Well, the husband forgot. And the mail came before I got home (at top speed, racing up my quiet suburban street hoping to beat the mailman). And it just broke my heart, and I told Scott it was his job to call the post office to see if maybe, just maybe, there was any way we could get the letter back.

"They won't do it," he said. "There's no point in asking."

"Just ask," I said. "I don't care if they won't do it. I want you to do everything possible to get that letter back."

(I should explain, too, that I'm royally pissed off with Scott for forgetting this, and that he's likely to be sleeping on the couch tonight regardless of the outcome.)

But Scott was teaching a class, so I figured I'd have a stab at the post office (with Beth safely ensconced in front of The Wonder Pets! and me upstairs feeding Sarah her pre-nap bottle), and I finally got through to the little post office in my town and explained (in a whisper, in case Beth wasn't as glued to the TV as I hoped she was) what I needed. They couldn't have been nicer. "We keep all the letters to Santa right here," the woman on the phone said, "until it's time to, um, deliver them to Santa." But she didn't have the one I was looking for. Everything was addressed to "Santa, North Pole," or something similar — nothing with just two-year-old scribbles.

"Is it possible that you don't have all of today's mail from the letter carriers?" I asked.

"Oh, you want today's mail? They're still out. Let's see...what street do you live on?"

So I told her, and she looked up the carrier on my route, and called him on his cell phone, and it turned out he'd just put the mail from my street into the outgoing mail box, and Beth's letter had gone in with it because it looked like it had a stamp on it. But he was perfectly willing to go back and (get this!) dig through the outgoing mail until he found the letter. Which I'm pretty sure is a federal offense.

"Thank you, thank you, thank you," I told the postal clerk. "Tell him to ring the bell when he comes by and I'll have some cookies for him." Cookies! I could have kissed him. I will never, ever, ever complain about postal workers again. No more jokes about mail traveling by postal squirrel.

Scott, as it turns out, felt guilty enough that he called the post office right after his class let out (without checking his e-mail, where he would have learned that I already had the letter back). They told him he was a few steps behind the game. Bethie's letter is safely tucked away in a file drawer, and when she's about twelve I'll tell her this story.


Melissa said...

That is so cute! I'm so glad you got your letter back! I definatly would make Russ sleep on the couch! How fun! I think I'll do that with tanner!

Rebecca said...

ohhhhhh! I am so glad to hear this story! I love when people are nice when they don't have to be! Shame on Scott for forgetting something of great importance.