Design by committee

There is a phrase that rings in my head as a reminder: “take up space”.

As a tall person I wished myself to be smaller, to not take up space. Because I did not like how some people spread unnecessarily beyond their boundaries, be that on seats and benches, on the plane, or in a conference room. Some take up air space, talking about nothing. Oh, I’ve been in many such meetings.

After months of letting this thought sink in, that it’s not just my right but my duty to take the space I need to get things done, I started doing it.

This time I had the bandwidth to take care of the end of year gratitude gift for the teacher. So I offered early enough to gather some money, make arrangements for the flowers and how to gift them, and I proposed a type of gift. As I had plenty of time I didn’t feel stressed planning and shopping. Even though on the last day people still send money and that makes it difficult.

Circumstances changed and then there was a deluge of messages on our private parents group. Each has their own opinion and while we want everyone’s voice to be heard, there comes a time when we will make a decision that will not be ideal for every singe parent.

I did not take it personally. Even though I felt tempted to retreat and say: do whatever you all want because I frankly don’t care that much. But that would have been a childish attitude and I am an adult who ca withstand the heat just a little longer. Writing appeasing messages, emotionally intelligent and persuasive, peace making and clear in communication, that can be done when one feels centered and confident and calm. I try my very best to serve well if I took on this responsibility this time. And everyone has the best intentions whilst having different opinions.

A decision was made. I was given permission to chose as the spirit leads. Everyone had a month to speak up. Changing things completely last minute is very stressful for me. So I found the middle ground and went ahead and placed an order for a box of ChezCoco deserts, and a gift card and a large transparent vase that will gather 27 peonies and each student will have the chance to offer one at a time to the teacher. It will be gorgeous and fragrant and joyous. I have been thinking about it since last year when most kids showed up without flowers and we all gave money to buy her a bouquet that none of us even got to see live. It was anticlimactic to be honest.

A gift to a teacher midterm is not the end. And yet, I feel this is just as special, because there isn’t too much pressure and the expectations are low. We want to send the message of love and appreciation after four years of schooling. This wonderful teacher walked with our kids through the pandemic, and took them on adventures, excisions and organized camps. She managed to inspire them respect and a love for reading. She built a foundation of character, courage and effective communication.

So this was our thank you draft. May she feel the love and appreciation.

Dear Teacher,

We thank you for the gentleness, perseverance and creativity with which you make room in the hearts and minds of our children, planting seeds of truth, friendship and loyalty, courage and respect, all intertwined with the necessary at an intellectual level.

We, the parents, see and reap the fruits today and we have the confidence that all this will continue to shine in our children for the rest of their lives.

Our gratitude passes like a cool breeze at the beginning of the summer, but we trust that the full reward comes from our Heavenly Father, and we pray that He will surround you with grace and strength, love and supernatural patience.

The 3rd grade that successfully ends the school year in June 2023