Meg's teacher is a seriously amazing combination of caring and control, of discipline and cuddles and she has done wonders with the kids. I'm all for thanking her. The very long letter had a series of dot points on does and don'ts of making our thank you letters. Do: use colours, include photo(s), drawings etc, use only one side of the paper, include child's name etc etc Don't: use thick decorations that will make the card stiff, cut it into shapes, use both sides of the paper etc etc.
Ok. I can get that. I read the letter through. Twice. I made sure I knew what we were supposed to do.
Meg and I went through 2 years of pictures on my computer looking for a picture she wanted to use. Her requiremements were: wearing a dress, taken outside of kinder ("She's already seen me at kinder!", with hair in two plaits, taken in Japan ("everyone else will have pictures in Japan...") and smiling. Hmm... we came up with this:
And Meg got out her sparkly pens and crayons and wrote a note to sensei "From Megumi. Dear Y sensei. I love you. Thank you. See you!" and drew some hearts and flowers and then I wrote a message thanking her for her time and care and we thought it looked pretty good.
Handed it in last week and forgot about it.
Then today at Kids'bics (kiddie aerobics class where kids run around yelling and playing chasey with the teacher while the mums gossip at the back of the room but hey, it's 500 yen a family and the girls love it) the PTA rep from Meg's class was there and she had the album of all our pages with her. She had sewn an album cover complete with rickrack bookmark, sunflower button closer (Meg is in sunflower class) and 'Sunflower graduation class 2010' embroidered on it.
So of course after oohing and ahhing, we opened it and all not only looked at everyone's pages but read them too (is that not a huge invasion of privacy???) and whoa- it was like a freaking scrapbook. There were sticker boarders, balloon/ heart/ star shaped photos, lace, beads, 3D effects, multi-coloured epistles, family photos, photos of mummy and child, baby photos, ribbons and bows.... Meg's page looked downright plain in comparison. The poor cousin if you will.
And you know, I realised how much I have grown into my skin here. Three years ago I would have been mortified. Would have probably asked for my page back, gone home and spent half the night trying to make it look like the others. But today? Sure, I was a little disappointed that it looked as though we hadn't put the same effort into thanking sensei as the other mothers but that's the point. The other pages were very obviously designed, directed and produced by mothers. Meg was so happy making her page, thinking of sensei's favourite colours and drawing things sensei likes and so proud of having done it herself I'm quite pleased her page looks the way it does.
Even if we managed to do it again and miss the message between the lines in the notice.