On the last day of school in the spring a sweet mom told this story: She had made flower pots for all of us teachers, painting them beautifully and then filling them with dahlias. When she showed them to her three-year-old he said:
“I want to make something for them by myself, all on my own.”
Later, he arrived at school with 4 popsicle sticks, each wrapped with a small ball of variegated yarn. They were yarn lollypops, of course! He gave one to each of the teachers who were there that day and then asked that the other two be labeled for the teachers who were not present.
When these two teachers arrived at our end-of-the-year party, the gift giver asked each time to walk back to the classroom to get their respective gifts, both of which were received with the appropriate oohs and ahs.
The story is powerful, not only because the child thought of making his own gifts, but also because this mom encouraged generosity and innovation by supporting his idea rather than dismissing it. That lollypop now resides in a place of honor, on my kitchen windowsill.