The end of the school year is [somehow] quickly approaching again. Honestly, I still think somewhere in my stunted brain I believe it’s March instead of May… but I can guarantee you that any school-aged child will be more than happy to set me straight.
It’s summer vacation time. Days of playing outside, taking picnics by the river or out underneath the weeping willow trees. Weekends skiing at the lake and weekdays of learning to mow the lawn and doing gymnastics in the backyard so I could someday be Mary Lou Retton.
Or at least that’s the scene that is conjured up in my memory. I’m sure Nintendo DS has changed that view for some kids, but I hope they still remember how to get dirty shirts and skinned knees.
The end of the school year also means that my class of first and second graders are moving on to new classes and other teachers as well. *sigh* I’ve really loved having those kids in my life this past year. And boy did they outdo themselves with their Easter cards for me:
At the beginning of the year, Deb [my friend; their teacher] would put prompts up on the board to help them with ideas for sentences as a part of teaching them how to write a proper letter.
But what I noticed at Easter is that all of their letters didn’t sound the same anymore. They were telling their own stories, using their own words and ideas, and showing more of their own personalities.
And they certainly didn’t shirk their decorating duties, either.
Some wrote poems, others wrote stories about past Easter memories of hunting for eggs and eating candy until they had stomach aches.
They drew beautiful pictures and obviously worked very hard on their best handwriting.
And this one even drew me a map of my Lenten journey to Jesus. :) Seriously… could that get any sweeter?
The part I wasn’t expecting is that they thought of me in more ways than one. As they learned about Lent, they talked about fasting, prayer and almsgiving. One of the students came up with the idea that for almsgiving, they could give something special to me.
[I’ll pause for you all to get a kleenex before you read this next part…]
So when Deb showed up with all of my Easter cards, she also brought a Ziploc bag filled with coins. The kids, and in some cases their families, would do things like put change in a jar when they broke their Lenten obligations. For example, Deb said one family showed up late for conferences and since their Lenten goal was to be on time for things, the dad said right away they needed to put change in the jar for me.
For me. Little kids’ hard-earned allowance. For Me.
Honestly, when Deb handed me the baggie with quarters and nickels, I really wanted her to give it back. That’s horrible of me, I know, but I just felt it was literally like taking candy from a baby or something. But then I realized how kind and generous these big hearts were inside these little people. And that this helped them see what Lent and Easter was truly all about.
So I put their donation toward paying for George so they would know they did something that helped me in my day-to-day life. Their sweet spirits can know that they not only made me happy all year, but they helped to make me safer in my home.
I wish I could say they learned something from me this year, but the truth is I learned so much more from them. Out of the hearts of babes.