Gosh it’s been a long time since I posted anything. I’ve crafted several posts in my mind, saved photos that I wanted to blog about, and sat down at the computer. But, my brain was mush attending to the plethora of items on my end of school year to do list. Finally I have a moment where I feel I can write. I think it might be because my topic makes my heart, mind, and eyes, brim over, and I need to let it out in words and witness.
It was time to make my end of the year gifts. Actually it was almost past time to do them in order to give them to my students before they left. I headed out to the store with my brother to buy photo paper, picked up some cute triangular sheets of paper that I thought might make nice cards, and hurried home to start the process. The gifts are ABC affirmation cards — 26 letters in the alphabet plus two cover cards means 28 cards per Kindergartner. 23 Kindergartners means I had to cut out 644 cards. It was Sunday night. I was giving the gifts on Wednesday morning. Can you say, “Oh my gosh?!?!?!” Perhaps you already have.
As I waited for my brother to print the cards, I thought how cool it would be to make an origami box that would fit the cards perfectly. Surely someone had figured out how to do that. They had. Here’s the video I used — with gratitude to the creator! And how cool is it that it involves using the math? (Yes, yes, I carry my math-loving-nerd card with great pride.) Thankfully, I had paper at home that would work for the project. Now I wasn’t silly enough to make a top and a bottom. I would never have slept if I did that. Instead I made a bottom, and then used the triangular sheet of paper to craft a sleeve that went around the box and served as my card as well.
My Kindergartners listened intently as I told them about the gift. They accepted the gift as though accepting something very special. I loved that, and was struck by how carefully they opened them. They flipped through every card. Some read them on their own, some with a friend, and others asked me to read them to them. When they finished reading them, they looked at me and asked “Can we make some?”
Make some? You want to make some?!?! I didn’t say that out loud. Instead I said “Of course you can!” Their next question was “Where can we get this paper?” referring to the photo paper I used. “Oh,” I replied. “I don’t have any of that here. But I have white index cards, and I have these colored post-it notes.” They gathered up their supplies and started writing and drawing. They made cards for their parents, siblings, friends, and themselves. One worked on many cards. “What can I write for D? I am …. Hmmmm… What’s something for D, Miss James?” I thought a moment and said “Delightful!” She liked the suggestion, and worked on. She took some post-it notes home to finish her deck.
The next day she came in, and handed me this.
She said, with a smile, “Here you go, Miss James. It’s for you” I opened it to find this. An deck of affirmation cards — one for each letter of the alphabet — made and gifted to me by one of my fantabulous Kindergartners.
How remarkable, right? I gift them. They are inspired and feel empowered to do their own work, to create their own cards, to affirm people in their lives. And then, they gift me right back. It’s all a gift — the opportunity to be together this year, choosing to gift them, experiencing their reactions, living our relationships, feeling their power, and receiving the sweet gift of these Kindergarten handmade cards from A-Z.