I always wonder what will transpire when my children’s homework projects require them to respond to open-ended questions. This weekend, I helped my 4-year old daughter create her “Giving Thanks Tree” for school. She made a poster with a tree stump at school. We were charged with cutting out leaves from construction paper, on which she would write out the many things for which she is thankful.
Now, you never know how a 4-year old might answer these questions. Has she picked up on the “what-the-grown-ups-want-to-hear” answers, like “Mom”, “Dad”, “my family”, etc. or would she give thanks for the ring-pops leftover in the Halloween candy bowl? I tried not to coach her too much, realizing that some if the charm would lie in her undying gratitude for that lollipop.
True to form, my daughter included a nice mix of “I love my family” shout-outs, and a few less orthodox responses. I was a bit relieved to see that she is thankful for me and Dad (spelled b-a-d… oops), her grandparents, and so on. After a while, she even decided she was thankful for her big brother. From there though, we hit the things this pre-school girl really loves: baby dolls, puzzles, and her pink flower nightlight.
I really wonder though how high her teachers’ eyebrows will rise when they get to the leaf that lists the family dog: “Guinness.” Should I expect a phone call?