Guest Post: Erin Austen Abbott of Amelia + Pen Pals!

I’ve asked some of my favorite creative mamas to help out while I’m away with our new baby. Today, the wonderful Erin Austen Abbott from one of my most favorite shops – Amelia – is sharing a favorite tradition with her son Tom Otis: pen pals! Thanks Erin! –Nole

As a child, I wrote a lot of letters. I wrote to my grandparents weekly, to friends and family while I was aways at summer camp, to aunts, uncles, my brother at college. I wrote letters of thanks, sorry, and the general hellos. I also had a few pen pals from around the world. We wrote about different home life, what school was like and the types of foods that we loved. I was in the 3rd grade and a West African councilor from my summer camp had his students writing to a few of us campers. I remember it being so fun for me, to see the stamps that my pen pal used, loving the look of the airmail envelope and just the general excitement of being eight and getting mail. (It’s only natural that I went on to open a store that carries so much stationery). –Erin


While letter writing is a lost art for some in the modern day world of computers and smart phones, it’s something I want to make sure my son, Tom Otis, is given the chance to experience. We’ve started writing to friends’ children in other states and countries. We have a list of friends that we plan to surprise with a letter, most with children around the same age as him. Tom is two, so while he can’t write yet, he draws a picture and loves pressing the stamp into place. We head to the post office and he loves watching it disappear into the slot.




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This is something that I hope we can keep up for a long time with our friends and that it does foster a love of writing for a lifetime in him.

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