Earlier in the week, I got a present from one of my students. It was in an envelope, so I figured it would be one of the frequent drawings they give me. (Some of them are pictures of me, and I am always tipped off when they have a crayon in their hand and they ask, "Mrs. R--is your hair orange?" as they are vacillating. That tells me I have gone overboard with the hair dye.)
He's a hard little kid, too. At any given time you can see him slamming a chair around, glowering at me, or shouting at a peer (sometimes all three at once).
I need to go back a little further. Just a little, I promise. Last week, we had our monthly "auction." The kids earn "money" through their behavior, work habits, etc. At the end of every month we take bids on dozens and dozens of things--stuffed animals, fancy spiral notebooks, bags of candy, and so on. One of the most popular items--two months in a row--was a giant (two feet in diameter) roll of bubblewrap. (I'm sure the parents were quite appreciative of that thing coming home...)
One student (the kiddo who gave me the present) bid on and got a set of refrigerator magnet picture frames. I told them it would make a great Christmas present for someone.
So, I was surprised when I opened the envelope and there--framed by one of those magnets--was a little love note to me. Pencil on notebook paper, it was carefully folded so it fit into the frame. This little boy doesn't even have enough food to eat every day, but he managed to give me a present I will cherish for a long, long time.
What is the sweetest gift you ever got--from a child or an adult?