Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Ceramics Teacher: Saying “Thank-You with a Smile

On Monday evening, as I was returning from Ricki’s exercise class (or at least, from 2/3’s of it),
I received a phone call from the teacher of my ceramics group. “I found the bowl that was missing. And yes, it WAS fired, and is ready to take home…”
Me: “Oh, gee, when are you at the classroom? Maybe I will walk over to pick it up, getting a bit of exercise in the bargain…”
-“Oh, I’m there now, until eleven this evening…”
And since the class is not that far out of the way from a quick bus ride from where Ricki and I were, I decided to pop over, Ricki in tow. We would then walk back home, about a twenty-minute walk.
I was wondering how the teacher would react to Ricki, and was pleased to see that she gave us a big smile when she noticed that I was accompanied by my daughter. I took a few minutes to explain to Ricki what this place was, and showed her a package of clay.
Suddenly the ceramics teacher suggested that I take a bit of clay home for Ricki to try. . She can make something, and next week you can paint it for her in class.” So I started to lop off a smidgen of the clay, but she laughed. “Why so little? Take more.” So I took a little bit more, and again Tami the teacher urged me to take a larger amount.
Now I am planning to try and “settle accounts” with Tami next week, but knowing her, I suspect very highly that she will refuse any compensation for the clay. Maybe she is hoping that I will enroll Ricki? I doubt it. I think that she is simply trying to be nice to a child, a teen, who has an intellectual disability.
Things like this used to bother me. I didn’t want Ricki to have “privileges”. I wanted her to earn her own way, be on an equal footing with everyone else. Today, as long as it is not a “pity party”, I simply say “Thank you. Thank-you very much….”


mother in israel said...

I think you were wise. Sometimes it's hard to learn to accept chessed (kindness).

Staying Afloat said...

Sounds fine to me, too. Nothing crazy obvious- she might even do this for anyone who brings a kid by. Spreading the love of the craft.

Plus, the teacher gains too, from the chessed, so you're also helping her. Using her business for mitzvos brings brachos to it.