My Gratitude Chalkboard has become fodder for my family. Some of it I find amusing, some not. But a few days ago Slick wrote something on it that brought back one of my favorite memories of The Caboose.
(Cue nostalgic, pre-school music.)
When he was 3 years old, he went to a Mother’s Day Out program a couple of days a week. There was a bulletin board in the hall (where the mommies lined up to reclaim their kids) always decorated with seasonal activities. When a new project went up, all the mommies would oooh and aaah over their little one’s contribution with pride.
That fall, the Thanksgiving bulletin board went up, and each child dictated to the teacher (they were too young to write) what they were thankful for, and teacher wrote it down on the little pumpkin cutout beneath their name. The title of the board was “I am Thankful For…” (wait, now my chalkboard feels much less original).
The wall was full of pumpkins bearing sweet messages of thanks, obviously prompted by the teacher. Most of the children claimed to be thankful for their families – their parents, their brothers and sisters, a few included their pets. Some were thankful for their health (yeah, right), and a few for God. I scan the wall for my son’s pumpkin, so I can beam.
I find it, and it says, “I am Thankful for scissors.”
At the time, he wanted to be a barber when he grew up. (Kid loved getting haircuts.) And he liked using scissors. (Probably because he had my undivided attention when using them.) So it made a little sense.
Then I thought about how this process must have gone. Teacher asks three-year-old what they were thankful for. Child looks back at teacher with a blank stare. Teacher says (nodding), “You’re thankful for your family, aren’t you??” Child nods back. Teacher moves on to next child.
Then I thought about my son. He was probably the only kid in that class who gave his own answer to that question. Even at three, my little dude saw things from his own, unique perspective. And no grown up was going to lead him elsewhere.