Food For Thought Friday: More of a "Reminder"...

I try to keep it all together. Really, I do. I try to be the kind of mom that is two steps ahead of everything and can take those two steps ahead while continuing to spin all my plates. That is always my intention. Sometimes, though, I meet failure in a dark alley, and failure has it's way with me.  It's never pretty, but I always learn from it.

The four-year-old, before he was four, before he was in a traditional preschool, went to a nursery school program, almost like a pre-preschool at our church. He started going a couple of days a week for a couple of hours a day when he was 9 months old.  This is where he learned his alphabet (mostly), how to count (mostly), how to go potty (pretty much totally), and most importantly, how to interact and cooperate with kids his own age.

That first year, on the last day of "school" (we have always called it "school"), I watched all of my fellow parents come in carrying gifts and thank you notes.  Guess who was empty handed. Yup. I was embarrassed and horrified at myself.  I mean, I read Dear Abby, I read Dear Prudence, I LOVE etiquette.  I apparently just don't have any. Ugh. I felt like I had a tattoo on my forehead that said "ROOKIE MOM." You can bet I wasn't going to do that again.  In fact, I was going to start stockpiling gifts like a squirrel preparing for a long winter (like the one we are just now emerging from). I was going to bring gifts to school every day - just to be prepared. Okay, that's a stretch, but I made special note on my calendar of the important gift giving occasions for teachers and even added a reminder for the prior week, so that on my Target rounds, I could make sure I had all the necessary wrappings and accessories. Phew. I was going to totally OWN the teacher gift thing!

Fast forward to now, I don't take it quite so seriously, but the sting of that day and the embarrassment I felt are still present. Teachers are such amazing people. They give so much from their heart, and they shape and change our kids. The growth I have seen in my own children from those few hours a week they spend with their teachers and classmates is amazing, and I want to appreciate it. I want to show my gratitude.  Of course I love my kids, but I so appreciate the fact that THEY love my kids, too.  So, a gift is such a small and easy way to say thank you.

After polling teachers, I have found that teachers really appreciate the gift certificate. Specifically to a place like Target or Barnes and Noble. A place where they may decide whether they want to buy something for themselves, or for the classroom. I have found myself at the Caribou drive thru thinking, "maybe I'll just pick up a card for the teacher," and then I panic because, "what if they don't drink coffee. Or what if everyone in the class gets them coffee certificates. I mean, how much coffee can one person drink?" (Note: I think I could probably shock you with my personal answer to the "how much coffee" question.)

So, as the school year draws to a close, remember your teachers. They are doing beautiful work with our children, and they deserve our thanks! (Mostly I blog this for that embarrassed "rookie mom" that I was so many years ago.)

Now, head on over to It's My Baby Blog for some ideas of fun ways to gift your kid's teachers.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, that is such a good reminder - I usually remember the night before and we end up making some homemade stuff that I'm sure gets dumped the minute the teacher gets home (I mean, I probably wouldn't eat cookies from all those germy kids at school!).


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