There is a 14 year age difference, so when Zachary moved away to attend college, Benji was only about 3 years old. This activity is a great way for my son to get to know his older brother who is a full- time fire fighter, and paramedic.
I asked Zach to share some of his insights (Johnny is another older brother he refers to):
So often it can be hard to keep in touch with family after you move out of the house. Sure, you can call them up on the phone every once in awhile, but you don't always get the intimate details of every one's lives that way. I started writing Johnny while in college... it was a way we got to keep in touch. You get a chance to share more minute and intimate details in letters because you get a chance to actually sit down and think about what you say before you say them. You also feel more free to say certain things as opposed to in person because you don't feel bad/awkward like you would if you were having the same conversation in person.
From Johnny, I moved on to writing Benji. I saved everyone of Johnny's letters and I save everyone of Benji's too. I like looking back on what we talked about, to see how things have changed since the time of the letter. It's funny and sad and weird how some things change over time. We talk about everything... work, school, friends, family, chores. One major common theme from Johnny and Benji is that they both love talking about music. So every letter ends with swapping song recommendations. We will write a list of songs we are enjoying at the time and share these, and then comment on the other person's recommendations. I like to share uplifting and encouraging songs. I also share secular selections, but I think that this is important as well because they are catchy, fun enjoyable songs but they aren't dirty or trashy.
I love getting and writing letters to Benji. I feel just a little more connected not just to him but the family by doing so.
Thanks, Zachary for sharing your letter writing relationship with your kid brother. I hope this will encourage young men or young ladies to take an interest in another young person in their lives. It could make all the difference in this journey of life.
"The one good thing about not seeing you is that I can write you letters."