By: Shannon Ralph
Last week, Sophie and Nicky’s kindergarten teacher asked each child in the class what they were most thankful for. She then compiled the answers and sent them home in her weekly classroom newsletter for the parents to ooh and aah over. Being the on-top-of-it-all mom I am, I just cleaned out the kids’ backpacks today in anticipation of their return to school tomorrow. So I read this list after Thanksgiving, but found it no less heart-felt than I would have before the holiday.
Some of the responses the children gave to the question “What are you most thankful for?” were truly endearing. Here are a few examples that reflect the mindset of my children’s fellow classmates:
“My grandpa because he works and helps me.”
“Parents because they give me food and take me places.”
“My grandma and grandpa because I like to cook with them.”
“My mom and dad because they love me and treat me good.”
“My mom and dad because they help me ride my bike.”
“My mom because she sleeps with me and she is a good mom.”
“My family because I like them.”
“My home because my family is in it.” (Can I get an “awwwwww?”)
“My brother and sisters because they care about me.”
“Jesus, because he helps out the Earth.”
Notice a trend here? That’s right. FAMILY. Even at the tender age of five, these children know to be thankful for their families. (And Jesus….you can’t forget Jesus.) As I read down the list, I couldn’t help but smile at the sweetness of these young souls. Their all-encompassing love for their mommies and daddies was palpable. It was truly a joy to read.
Then I got to Sophie and Nicky’s responses. Umm….yea. Not a mention of their mommies. Not a word about their brother. Nothing about their home at all, actually. Sophie responded to the question about what she was most thankful for by saying, “My dog because she doesn’t bite.” Yes, we all love Stella. But most thankful? I don’t see Stella getting up with her in the middle of the night when Sophie has to pee and doesn’t want to go alone. I don’t see Stella putting up with the attitude that oozes from every pore of Sophie’s little body. I don’t see Stella coloring with Sophie. Or baking with Sophie. Or making potholder after potholder after God-forsaken potholder with Sophie. I must say, I am a bit disappointed with her answer.
And Nicholas….oh, sweet little Nicholas. What is Nicholas most thankful for? After reading sentence after sentence of lovely little children espousing their love for family, I had the privilege of reading Nicholas’s response. “Money. So I can buy stuff with my own money.” Yep, my youngest son is most thankful for money.