Do you know what that is? A Philatelist? Neither did I. Until, that is, my brother became one.
A philatelist is, in short, a stamp collector.
The Kid decided one day, that he needed a hobby. So he decided he would collect stamps. He arranged an archaeologic dig into our boxes to find the ancient letters of the 70’s-80’s and their stamps he snatched. The few letters I receive from awesome friends that take time to write me have been voraciously scanned and their stamps cut out, separated from the envelope (there’s probably a name for that), hinged, and put into his stamp book thing, (there’s for sure a name for that too.)
A couple of friends have found out that he collects stamps and have been so so sweet to send him a few they have collected or simply cut out from letters they have kept.
Every day, when dad comes back from checking the mail box, the Kid jumps up and down full of hope. Usually, he gets disappointed, but every once in a while a stamped letter arrives to make his day.
Last week, during my Reading Buddy session, the Kid decided he’d stay with me at the library. If there’s one thing I’m ever so grateful for, it’s his love for reading. Recently he caught me updating my book list and asked me to make him a book list. I quickly filled out two page in colored markers, one list of the books he has already read (the ones we remembered that is), and those
I he wants to read. I filled the list with classics, and he’s been a sport and is plodding through the not so interesting classics, ahem Wind and the Willows, (sometimes I wonder if the only reason certain classics are classics is because everybody says, “Oh yeah, that’s a classic.” Nobody likes it really, but hey, it’s been around so long so it must be good right?), and racing through the interesting classics, ahem, Oliver Twist. (Sometimes I get so proud I have to stray from the post topic to ramble on and on about him. What? I sound like one of those annoying moms at play dates or recitals that go and on about their kids? Oh stop being jealous!)
Anywho, back to library. Ever since he’s taken up this new hobby, he has been bringing home these monstrous heavy-weight-champion of books, stamp catalogues. Two or three of them at a time. If you caught a glimpse of him leaving the library, you’d see three fat catalogues walking around on two tall, skinny legs.
That Monday, while he was looking through the stamp catalogues at the library, he noticed an elderly man looking through a few as well. Now, in our family, we defy the “Homeschoolers are shy and antisocial” rule that everybody talks about, but nobody has witnessed. The Kid and I were also, never drilled with “Don’t talk to strangers”. Sure, we were taught to not be reckless and hand out our address or credit card number, “don’t talk to strangers” was talked over, but not pounded into our heads. As a result, Victor approached the man and asked him, “Are you a philatelist?” And there begun a conversation.
Turns out, Peter, was indeed a philatelist but had recently stopped collecting. He had several stamps at home, and if it were all right with the Kid’s parents, he wouldn’t mind giving him a few. He left his phone number at the front desk, and left.
The Kid’s eyes were grinning as he told me all about it as soon as I finished up RB. I was skeptical. What was he up to now? As soon as we got in the car to go home, he made mom go into the library to get Peter’s phone number. He was so excited.
A meeting was arranged and that week Mom, Dad, and an exuberant Kid went to visit Peter and his wife. Peter and his wife, were both missionaries to Taiwan once upon a time, and they had formed a collection of stamps from various places and spaces. They had a nice visit, and as soon as I opened the door for my little trio when they came back, this is what I saw:
Our living room, by the way, is still run over by stamps. No matter he has a great big room to fill up with stamps. They look better in the living room, see. That way it teaches the rest of us to maneuver around little pieces of paper that must not be stepped on.
Stamps have been the first thing on his mind in the morning, and at night I go to sleep to,
“Did you know that the first stamp in the US was from 1845? The first one in Canada was in 1851. Washington was on the first stamp. Did you know that?”