Each spring, Montgomery Elementary hosts a staff appreciation luncheon for the hard-working folks at our sister school in Over-The-Rhine.
I drag A. along to Costco to pick up sandwiches and enough cake to feed an army. Another mom shops for several door prizes and gift cards to be given away. Other parents work from home, chopping and creating salads they’ll bring to school for today’s feast.
I explain to A. that it’s a team effort. Lots of hands will help today. My friend and I are only lucky enough to be the delivery crew.
“Why us?” he asks. He wants to know why Montgomery Elementary. Why our school? Why our families?
What’s the right answer? Because when you have a lot you have a responsibility to share? Because teachers pour their hearts into their kids and deserve our thanks?
“Because teachers help all of you,” I say. “You, your brothers, your friends.” I search for words to explain.
“Teachers everywhere, right now, are helping to shape all the little people who will one day grow up and be all the big people. All those big people will be what our country becomes. All the doctors, lawyers, electricians, plumbers. Even the president. Somewhere, the person who will be president when you are an adult is sitting in a classroom somewhere listening to a teacher.”
A. considers this.
“Important job those teachers have, right? A good reason to say thank you?”
A. nods yes.
I’m feeling pretty proud of myself for making this luncheon into a lesson that stretches farther than our little five-mile radius town. “Any questions?”
A. looks at the sheet cakes stacked in our cart. “So teachers must really like cake.”
Pride is a dangerous vice.