Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A precious gift

I have lived overseas for almost 6 years now.  Being the kind of teacher who is constantly trying to look at things through a child's eyes and forever on the look-out for something that will spark an interest I ALWAYS end up returning with a suitcase that is practically overflowing with lovely bits and pieces for my children or the classroom, and am always just a little nervous as to whether or not the lovely staff at the check-in counter will actually allow me to check my heavy bag in.  A lot of the extra weight often comes in the form of children's books which, when they are quality, happen to be one of my passions.  I recently returned from a trip home to Australia for Christmas with my family and a few weeks in Thailand visiting friends and attending a conference.  Needless to say I came back to Mongolia with a bag full of surprises- a new baby doll, some baby clothes (many of which were saved by my mother from when I was a bub- not sure that the children could quite wrap their heads around that one!), books, books and more books, puppets, craft supplies, puzzles... J

Last week Solongoo (one of my girls) commented on how when they (the children) come to my place there is always something new.  She asked "Are you a rich person?"  I told her that, no, I am not rich but because I am not married and don't have children of my own I can spend money on them.  And also that I have friends who know that children come to my home so they like to give or send things especially for them.  She thought for a while.  "Why aren't you married?"  I explained that I simply had not met my husband yet.  "You should get married," she said, with quite some authority for a four-year-old.  I asked her why she thought that.  "Well, then you could have children of your own." (duh!) "When I grow up I will get married and I will have children" she told me.  When I later saw her taking very special care of a baby doll, I realised what a precious hope she had for me.  She tenderly dressed her baby, propped her up with a book, fanned her with a beautiful bamboo fan...Yes, Solongoo thought it would be so special for her teacher to have a child of her own, not just because it is the "done" thing (especially here in Mongolia) but because children are a precious gift to be cherished.  It was a beautiful reminder.

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