Sunday, April 23, 2017

Gift Exchanges

IMG_20170423_091820.jpgKind of weird to be posting a picture with snowmen on it on this gorgeous Earth Day weekend morning, but I hand-washed this plastic plate after breakfast, and it got me thinking about special efforts and what they do for people.
Effort is a Gift
Both of my sons created plates like this in first grade. It’s no simple task. However, it’s a process that the teachers have willingly worked through every year, doing an incredible job integrating what ends up being a gift to families into a vital portion of the classroom curriculum. Each student is allowed the freedom to adorn theirs as they wish, and each is wrapped in paper that the students fashion by blending straight-out art with various mathematical concepts. In addition, students design, write and carefully attach cards to complete the package.
Little Things Matter
These plates sit in our kitchen cupboard. We don’t use them all the time, but on days like today, they get called on. I like the reminders of how much the boys have grown (thankfully Brennan’s printing and sense of time have both settled into more traditional lines). I also marvel at how some of their life-long characteristics are visible (he still enjoys creating detailed scenes- but perhaps now with more lasers and robotic cats). These plates are great cues to appreciate the genuine nature of our lives.
Spreading What is Held Dear
Our lives are constantly changing. As we dance in and out of schools, jobs, neighborhoods and even larger moves, hopefully we live those opportunities as best we can in real exchange. Another person’s or place’s traditions can become ours for a while, or eventually integrated into our own. Then, we carry it all into our next world, and hopefully share once again.

>We’re the sum of our experiences. Here’s to our lives filled with of a multitude of exchanges, punctuated along the way with sweet tokens like these plates, reminding us how far we’ve come, and who has shared in our journeys.

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