I have a rule about the kids' lunches: if they don't eat the "good" stuff, they don't get any sort of treat in their lunch the next day. A couple days ago, Abe left the carrots I'd packed for him, so I told him at dinnertime that I was putting them back in for the next day's morning snack. He usually gets something like cheese or crackers for morning snack, but this morning: leftover carrots from yesterday.
This morning we all overslept, so Ted ended up being the one to take the kids to school and in the rush to get out the door, I forgot to tell him to make sure Abe put the bag of carrots on his desk for morning snack.
Well, lo and behold, as I was unpacking his lunchbox from school tonight before dinner, I noticed the carrots were gone. He told me that he'd remembered himself to put them on his desk for snack. This was confirmed by his dad.
I couldn't quite believe it. Our son being this responsible all on his own? My heart swelled with pride, and I told him that if I had a 'golden ticket' to give him, I would.
It seems like a small thing: a bag of carrots at morning snack in kindergarten. But for his parents, the ones ones who wonder when their son will ever grow into a responsible, school-age kid who is trustworthy and mature, well, my goodness, that bag of carrots said a lot.
I give so much credit to his teacher and the wonderful student teachers she has working with her who are so good at "catching" kids doing the right thing. Our son got two of these 'golden tickets' last week for being responsible: one for pushing not only his chair under but also his neighbor's chair. He got another one today for going to the back of the line instead of pushing to be at the front after P.E.
I noticed my baby boy walking in a different kind of way last week when I was in the class to volunteer. When he noticed me in the classroom, his eyes brightened and he whispered, "Mom! I got a golden ticket today!" His face was bright with pride for having been noticed doing the right thing. Of course, I choked back tears.
Tonight as Ted came down from putting the kids to bed, he said, "Abe wanted me to tell you that today at school, he helped a girl at school even though she wasn't very nice because his teacher asked him to." He was proud. He did the right thing.
I am so thankful that he is in an environment where integrity, truthfulness and responsibility are encouraged and rewarded. And people, this is public school. Our tax dollars at work.