Some gifts cannot be wrapped...

I have enjoyed watching Ms. Perky grow into her own as the newest member of our kindergarten teaching team. Oh sure, she's cute, adorable, intelligent, funny, perky and YOUNG, but dammit we love her in spite all of that. (We're convinced she's twelve, but she insists she's not.)

My heart skips a beat each time she shares one of the lessons she's learned with me, and I have often felt that we are kindred spirits - even though I'm a FEW years older. We both agree that long-range planning means 30 minutes before the kids arrive; that the bad little boys make us smile; that white can be worn any day of the year; that every day is a new day, and that you can always find something to love about each and every child.

We were sharing some stories, our incredible Christmas gifts and smiles after the last day before Christmas vacation, when she started to tear up.

"I think the best present of all came from Max," she continued, as she reached into her pocket for something.

"I was opening all those amazing presents, and he was standing back watching quietly. I knew he wasn't able to bring anything in, and I felt awkward opening all the presents - but I knew the kids wanted me to open what they had brought. I was trying to be low-key, but they were crazy with excitement!" I smiled, knowing full well what craziness she was referring to, as the whole school shook that day. Some of us might have even yelled once or twice. Maybe.

"So I was done, and sent the kids to the carpet when Max came up to me. He handed me this big rubber band, and said 'I got this for you Miss Perky. You know, to put your hair into your pony tail.' It was the rubber band that I had seen on the floor by my desk."

She wiped her eyes and smiled. "That small gesture has given me the best gift of all. He gave me a gift that was real, honest and pure - and right from the heart."

And then she pulled up her hair and put that dirty, filthy rubber band in her hair.

I love her. (Even if she IS young and adorable.)


Lorraine said...

Such a sweet story. Sometimes the smallest things are the biggest reminders of what it's all about.

(I can't stop eating either!)

Joanie said...

That's awesome!

and that thing I emailed you regarding.... I figured it out all by myself!

Gigi said...

Miss Perky is a fabulous kindergarten teacher!!! You've taught her well.

jessica said...

so now i'm tearing up. oh my god i love her. and that little boy.
my best gift ever came about 7 yrs ago when a mom handed me a bag and apologized about getting me a scarf saying "i wanted to get you something else but patrick insisted on getting this for you because he said purple is your favorite color" And it was. thinking of that little boy throwing a fit in the store because mom wanted to get something more expensive/ "better" just warms my heart every time i think of it.
i looked for the scarf the other day in my winter pile and couldn't find it. i was devastated. i think one of my kids stole it for a snowman and it's gone now :(

Lynn MacDonald said...

What a GREAT story. Sometimes, it's nice just to read a story about a REAL human being...no pretense, just someone who cares. Thanks for sharing that! It certainly puts stuff in perspective.

Jeanne Estridge said...

Some people are born to be teachers. And a very few are born to be kindergarten teachers.

SherilinR said...

aww, ms perky gets it, all the way from her toes to her dirty ponytail.

Irish Gumbo said...

Salute to Ms. Perky. That's what it is all about. Awesome!

Notes From ABroad said...

So now I am weeping too :)
God bless Ms Perky, children need teachers like her ( and you) ..

Liss said...

You two are indeed, kindred spirits. The world needs more of you xxx

Tara said...

I still have the rock one of my little darlings brought me from the playground two years ago. He brought it to me and whispered "I got this for you." He still whispers when he talks, but my crankiest days can turn around in an instant when I see it sitting in the potted plant on my desk.

Your Ms. Perky sounds like my partner - I thank God for her every day!

AMY said...

Awwwwwwww I LOVE Ms.Perky!

Sue said...

They always say it's the "little" things in life that make the biggest difference in our world. What a wise teacher for being so young. Thanks for sharing such a sweet story, I loved it!

Take care, Sue

Melissa E. said...

I love the rubber band story. It brought a tear to my eye.

This year I got a broken glass ornament from one of my struggling students. It holds a place of honor on my tree.

It really is true that it's the thought that counts.

Pseudo said...

She sounds awesome. I am so glad you get the fun of having her as your student teacher.

Cheeseboy said...

Not ONE of my students got me a rubber band this year!

This teacher reminds me of a new teacher at my school. They must be sisters!

Mellodee said...

Ms. Perky may be a great teacher one day, but it's the kids like Max that teach them about what matters!

Brenda Susan said...

Great story, beautifully told. Thank you for writing your blog!

Mrs4444 said...

That's really sweet. [Smiles]

This year, a boy who lives in his mom's sometimes-boyfriend's trailer gave me a teddy bear and a candy bar. Both reeked of cigarette smoke, and the bear was clearly "well-loved." When he gave them to me, he said, "My sister gave me the bear, but I didn't want it, so you can have it." and "My aunty gave my mom the candy bar, but she didn't like it, so I thought of you." Seriously, he was so happy about giving me these gifts; it was really sweet. Because I didn't want him to see me throwing them away (really--they stunk that badly), I took them with me as I left, and because the smell was so strong, I didn't want to set them down in my car, so I drove with them in one hand until I could find a trash can several miles away. (I must be crazy.) Anyway, hours after throwing them away, my car still reeked (of generosity, of course). Not really--It just reeked of cigarettes, but I'm trying to bring this back around to your heartwarming theme...haha

InspiredDreamer said...

What a lovely story!!

J.J. in L.A. said...

Aww, both their hearts are in the right place...

Anonymous said...

Very sweet! Kids can really brightened our days! :)

She seems like an awesome teacher, but not as good as you of course! ;)

noexcuses said...

It's always nice to get a fun and interesting class, but it is downright stupendous when you have someone to work with who shares your views and laughs with you side by side!

RottenMom said...

Sweetest story ever. Ever.

Cheryl D. said...

I'm sure she just gave Max a memory of the kindest teacher he will have! Maybe the one that had the greatest impact on him. Amazing!

Alexandra said...

a mini you...

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