Sometimes I wish I was back in grade school. The years from 8th grade through 12th were absolutely lovely for me - grueling, stimulating, joyful, stressful, promising, and frustrating all at the same time. However, I have no intention of going through puberty again, worrying over what to do with my life when I 'grow up.'
Not until high school did I get quite taken up with learning for the sheer gratification of it, lingering in academia much longer than average, assuming, possibly falsely, that the depth of my knowledge somehow is tied to the strength of my identity. Which, at last stock-taking wasn't that deep or that strong respectively.
The one thing I would staunchly proclaim is that my teachers most definitely influenced me in ways even they don't know, and still influence me today, as I raise my kids. What power and bliss it is to be a teacher - to mold the next generation.
Now that another school year is coming to a close for my kids, I try not to live through them but let them have this experience to cherish what they hold dear. Part of me is terribly impatient, wanting them to grow up fast so I can see what sort of individuals they become as adults; but, part of me wants to preserve this carefree period in their lives which nostalgia claims as the halcyon days.
I chastise myself sometimes for not being the sort of mom who takes pictures of her kids on their first day of school each year, and possibly last day of school, and making cute scrapbook pages recording their growth and accomplishments each year as they develop by leaps and bounds. I think measurable achievements and accomplishments are secondary to who they become and how they see themselves as they grow -- always ready to set goals for themselves and working hard to get there, but, never straying far from the big picture of what it all means to lead a good life.
Anyway, I am rambling. This year, the older child decided to put together cute Mason Jar gifts for all the teachers in school who touched her in one way or another: The Truffles & Teas Mason Jar!
Keeping in mind that teachers have enough well-meaning gifts that students give them each year, and that they only have limited space in their lives to keep all the hand-made things their students give them, the older child decided to give a small handmade item that is utilitarian: a colorful loom loop coaster. Plus, who doesn't like tea? So, some tea bags. And, being a huge fan of dark chocolate, she decided to stash some bite-size chocolate treats for her teachers. A handmade card filled with heartfelt words about how each person influenced her rounded out the package.
No plans for summer camps for the older child - although she might enjoy a few select ones if only I can afford to enroll her. She might get lonesome but not really bored, I tell myself... Downtime is essential for creativity to take root. She might set herself a goal or two and try to reach them by the end of summer. Or not. Who knows?
p.s: The younger child decided to make a Flip Book for his teacher - something that doubles as a notepad, which a teacher can not have enough of. Plus a handwritten note and card and some tea+chocolate. The flip book just has this little seahorse (stamped) that floats about and tumbles and such, along with a bird that flies off its branch and dives in the water and floats to the top.