A Generous Gift Offer?


March SOLC–Day 4
A huge thank you to  Anna, Beth, Betsy, Deb, Kathleen, Lisa, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for all that they do to create a supportive community of writers and a safe, welcoming space to write, learn, share and grow.

Elementary school students are generous and teachers receive many spontaneous and unexpected gifts, from hand-drawn pictures, heartfelt notes and hugs to a well-traveled hard boiled egg swimming in juice in a leaking plastic bag. Once I had a first grade student very seriously present me with a small spring from inside a pen. “You can hang it on your wall,” he suggested. More recently, it took me awhile to figure out that one of my fourth graders was offering me a gift.

I was walking with my  class down the hallway to Library and she chatted away at my side. My attention was distracted by some antics toward the end of the line and I returned my focus in time to hear her say, “So, do you want it, Mrs. Hogan?”

“What?” I asked, at a total loss.

“The sweater, ” she said. Sweater?  I must have looked confused, and she attempted to clarify. “Do you remember that jacket you wore when I read to you yesterday?” she asked.

“Um, maybe,” I said. Jacket, what jacket? I don’t wear jackets. 

 “You know, it was kind of brown and it was soft,” she continued. “It’s kind of like that.” What was she talking about? Do I have a brown jacket? What’s like that?

She looked up at me and asked, “So, will you keep it if I bring it in for you? It’s green.”

I was silent for a moment, thinking furiously, trying to piece a few of these comments together. Do I want it? Sweater? Keep it? Suddenly, I realized what she was talking about. She wanted to bring a sweater from home for me. How generous! How sweet! But what should I say? I certainly couldn’t accept a sweater as a gift!

“Oh, K,” I said, fumbling for words, “That’s so generous of you. You need to keep your sweater though. Someday you might want it for yourself.”

“Oh, no.” she said casually, flipping her long hair over her shoulder, “It’s okay. I don’t like it.”


9 thoughts on “A Generous Gift Offer?

  1. dogtrax says:

    Great ending .. with the ouch moment, but also, an interesting interaction to bring us into. Kids are so funny, and so generous, too. I often find myself in the situation of them remembering some little detail we talked about, and me not, and then me trying to remember it as we are talking about it. Sometimes, I give up and just ask, What (sweater) are we talking about?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. cindaroo42 says:

    You had me at the pen spring! Ha! I belly-laughed out loud! Kids are just the best! You do have a great sense of style, maybe green isn’t “K’s” color?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Amy Warntz says:

    This certainly brought a big smile to my face and allowed me to reminisce over some of the gifts I’ve received over the years. A spring… that’s original! It also reminded me of how we are pulled in so many different directions by a distraction here and a distraction there. I’m wondering what would have happened if that sweater showed up! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      Amy, as I was writing this I was also thinking about those distractions. I began thinking about writing a post focusing on the many distractions in our day. (Isn’t it somewhat ironic to focus on the distractions!? After all the time I spend encouraging students to turn them out!) I’m not sure if it will evolve or not, but there’s certainly plenty of material to work with!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. vanessaw2007 says:

    Thanks for making me smile this beautiful Saturday morning. I love when students are trying to talk to me in line and I’m totally distracted by shenanigans somewhere else in line. I must admit, I’ve never been offered such unique gifts before. Definately do a post on distractions.. would love to read it!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. ureadiread says:

    That was a great twist at the end! You didn’t even hint that it would go there.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What a riot! Kids are brutally honest, aren’t they?

    Liked by 1 person

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