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Little L. was wrapped around me in a flash. "Mommmmmy!" Her face was shining, so happy to see me.
My heart felt warm, but there was also a pinch of guilt. This was the first time that I had picked her up from school since the baby was born. I used to pick her up every day.
L. latched herself on to me as I put my initials on the sign-out sheet and started gathering her things from her cubby. That's when I noticed a little blue gift bag. I knew that it would be for Baby J. so I tried to hide it among the backpack, lunch bag, and projects going home.
"What was that?" L. demanded to know.
"Let's put on your boots!" I said with enthusiasm. I wanted to avoid a scene over the gift.
"Is that for the baby?" she said.
I pretended not to hear her. "Boots time!"
"Mommy, I know that that is for the baby." Little L. was using her "teacher voice," to let me know that I wasn't fooling anybody by hiding that gift.
The guilt pinch got stronger. She proceeded to put on her boots, then her coat.
Gifts had been pouring in for the baby over the past few weeks and I worried that L. was feeling a little sensitive about it. We had done the best we could not to make a big deal about presents for the baby, opening them on our own most of the time. Sometimes a thoughtful friend or family member would include something for L. and we'd let her open hers first.
But then, amazingly, miraculously, she said cheerfully, "Let's see what is it! Is it another hat?" (L. loves J.'s hats for some reason). "Can I open it for him?"
I was shocked. Little L. didn't seem to care that J. was getting a present. She genuinely seemed interested in what he was going to get.
The present was adorable (Thank you A. & M.!) and L. couldn't wait to see Baby J. try it on.
The next morning, Little L. decided to write a thank you note to her friend:
Moral of the story: Maybe I've been underestimating Little L.!
PS In another post, at another time, I really want to point out all the great emergent writing behaviors going on in this video clip, but I'll save it. It's hard to turn off my teacher brain!