Technically, I walked into the first grade classroom to provide reading and writing support for two specific students. Knowing that it was the day of all the Valentine’s Day parties, however, I didn’t really expect to be doing a lot of academic work. I was correct.
The room was FULL of extra help, to be honest, as nearly a half-dozen mommies, plus a few younger siblings, swarmed the classroom to offer assistance with various crafts and activities. The room was abuzz with excitement and it made me smile.
As I counted out blue, brown, black, and purple crayons– four of each– and placed them in cups, I listened to one mom compliment another on the elaborate Valentine’s bouquets she had made for the teachers. I’m not going to lie to you– they WERE impressive. Artfully arranged candy bars were alternated with sparkly doo-dads and luxurious winter skin- and lip-care items, all tucked snugly and adorably in an exquisitely wrapped coffee can.
The crafty mom’s cheeks pinked a bit as she smiled and fluffed blown-out blonde hair over her heart-bedecked red scarf.
“That’s what I LOVE about Pinterest!” she gushed. “It’s the great equalizer.” She beamed a bright smile and turned to fuss over her daughter’s pink and red streamer-ribboned pigtails for a bit.
The mother who’d paid the compliment grinned back, but it didn’t quite reach her eyes. She hesitantly handed the teacher a hand-cut card that was sort of trapezoid-shaped and had three monkey stickers on it, plus a random foam truck. The crayon letters across it read, “Im banus fr U.”
The teacher accepted it with a soft smile. There was little doubt she loved it and was touched. The child who wrote that message worked long and hard to try to hear the letter sounds present in the words he wanted to write and his deliberate effort was obvious.
I have no doubt that mama was proud of her son’s work. I just hope it goes even beyond that…
That coffee-can bouquet was gorgeous and generous and a lovely gift. It was, no doubt about it, Pinterest-worthy.
But the card? Was perfect.
Sticky-fingered, gap-toothed grinned, tongue-stuck-out-with-effort kind of perfect.
And that’s the best kind.