A Special Package, from Vermont to Finland | Kids VT | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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A Special Package, from Vermont to Finland 

click to enlarge ELISA JÄRNEFELT
  • Elisa Järnefelt

"I haven't sent the package yet. I still want to add a few things," I told my 9-year-old niece in Finland during a recent video call. "Let's see if it arrives by Christmas," I continued, smiling.

"Or by my birthday," my niece added dryly, referring to next February.

Although we said these things lightheartedly, both of us knew they were not really jokes. Among so many other effects of COVID-19, delivery of international packages is extremely slow, or even suspended, due to air travel restrictions.

"You're right," I told my niece. "It may not arrive until around your birthday." Then I continued, thinking out loud: "You'll probably like completely different things by the time it arrives."

My niece nodded in agreement.

A third grader who is enjoying the last lazy weeks of her summer holiday is different from a kid in the midst of fourth grade. My niece is at the age when friends, returning from their summer vacation, have grown taller and look different somehow; when a thing that was recently loved may abruptly be deemed childish; when favorite colors still change often. In the life of a 9-year-old, a few months is a long time.

Suddenly, the nature of my little parcel changed. It is no longer a box that will travel from Vermont to Finland in weeks. It is a time capsule: a collection of things that will embark on a long journey through the unpredictable months of fall in the United States and Europe, to be discovered one winter afternoon in Finland.

After the call ended, I knew I had to rethink what to send. This was a parcel bound for the future, after all.

This article was originally published in Seven Days' monthly parenting magazine, Kids VT.

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About The Author

Elisa Järnefelt

Elisa Järnefelt

Bio:
Elisa Järnefelt is a South Burlington-based illustrator and writer originally from Finland. She enjoys telling complex stories with seemingly simple drawings. Her illustrated column about parenthood appears monthly in Kids VT. You can see more of her drawings at elisajarnefelt.com... more

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