When I was a kid, one of the most exciting parts of the day for me was when the mail would arrive. I loved going out to meet the mailman, to get the mail directly from his hands, and to come running inside with our treasure trove of bills, mail outs, magazines and cards. It became much more exciting for me when I started receiving my own personal mail.
There’s something about seeing your name on an envelope or on a label on the back of a magazine. It seemed like everyone knew my mom and dad, and didn’t just know them but also knew their entire names, even names they didn’t go by in normal day to day conversations. I thought they were famous because of all the mail they would receive and when I finally received my very own first piece, I genuinely thought I had joined the ranks of the rich and famous!
My first piece of mail came in the form of a magazine for children, Highlights. I’m sure many of you have heard of it and if you’re from my generation, then you likely received the magazine on a monthly basis. Back then it was only one magazine bursting full of games, riddles, stories, and stickers. By the time I started receiving my first subscription, I was old enough to actually read the words.
I used to sit on our couch at home, cross my legs one over the other, and put on my fake plastic glasses as I read through my magazine. I usually had a cup of chocolate milk alongside me that I liked to pretend was my own cup of coffee, just like my dad’s, and read through the “news” of the world, or at least the news of a kid’s world. Hidden pictures were my favorite. I would never actually circle the pictures when I would find them because I wanted to make sure I could reuse the magazine.
These days, Highlights has progressed. They now offer three different levels of the magazine, starting with “Hello”, which is geared towards the 0-2 age set, “High Five” for the 2-6, and “Highlights” for the 6-12. We started a subscription for Davey before he turned one. At that age, he didn’t really understand the excitement of getting mail, but I was looking for additional ways to boost his brain power. Once he became two, we graduated to the “High Five” subscription and it’s been a tremendous success.
He loves his Highlights magazine. He’s come to expect it, to actually ask for it on a regular basis. Sometimes, when he’s getting the mail from our postman, he inquires, “do you have my magazine for me?” It’s sweet actually and I love that when he does receive it, he points out his name on the back and then immediately wants to drop everything so that we can read it and do the puzzles. And just like his mommy, hidden pictures are his favorite.
I keep all of the magazines, as I’m eager to recycle them for Henry’s use. We’ve started reading the “Hello” issues to Henry. He loves the size, as they are perfect for fitting into his hands. He’s learning the various words and can even find a few of the hidden pictures in those.
Highlights has also progressed to a level of offering up puzzle books and other little ways of learning and encouraging our children. We subscribe to the puzzle books as well, another exciting anticipation for Davey. The puzzle books offer up stickers that you can use to complete a picture, as well as word finds, rhymes and riddles.
I love that things I adored as a child are still around for my children. As with most anything, they’ve progressed with the times, but they are still around. Occasionally, Davey will ask, “is this what yours looked like, mommy?” when he starts reading one of his new Highlights. I tell him it’s close and then I remind him that I had just as much fun with mine as he does with his.