Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Day 18 SoL Story Challenge: Little L.'s Thank You Note to a Friend

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It was the end of a very long, tiresome day. Baby J. was about four weeks old. I climbed the steps to Little L.'s preschool classroom one by one, each step taking much more effort than usual. I couldn't figure out any good way to hold Baby J.'s car seat that didn't hurt my arms, wrists, and hands. I had to stop at the landing to catch my breath. Finally I reached the top of the steps and opened the door to the classroom.

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!


  1. L is such a great big sister! I love how you capture this moment.

    1. Thanks Kay. She really is a great big sis.

  2. L. composes lovely thank you notes, and in cursive!

    1. Thanks Tara! I was so surprised when she said that! I didn't even know that she knew what cursive was!

  3. Sometimes we expect MORE sibling rivalry than we get; however, don't worry...over the next 30 years or so, it will even out! PROMISE!

    1. Oh Anita, trust me, there are signs of rivalry on the horizon. We're just doing our best to keep it at bay for now!