The Boyds at the Tower of London
My family enjoys travel. We work together on mission trips every other summer, helping people in places like
Kinley with three new friends in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 2010
These 6-week-long missions have enabled us to rack up the frequent flyer miles. Kinley alone has 80,000 miles at her disposal right now. That's enough to take her to
Whether we're going on a mission, following Josh as he represents Purdue, or traveling just for fun, I always send all of my students a postcard from wherever I am during the summer. It takes a lot of time to write that many cards since I can't seem to stop myself from giving each child details about the far-away lands that they may never visit. Plus, I like for them to know I'm thinking about them during the summer, and all kids love to get real mail.
Many of them come in on the first day of school proudly reporting that my card arrived "all the way from" wherever I've been that year. I beam at them, happy that my investment in time and postage (which costs as much as $2 per postcard in some countries) has given them joy.
But this year, I intentionally left out one student.
We spent the summer of 2011 in
since this was our off-year for mission work. On a visit to Trafalgar Square, I stopped in a touristy shop to buy cheap postcards to send. I picked one that had lots of different scenes of famous places in London and bought 22 of them. Back in our tiny flat, I plopped onto the bed to begin writing. I started with the child whose name comes first on my alphabetical class list. I always assign my students class numbers and memorize my class list this way. Justin Asbill is number 1; Jacob Baber is number 2; Kinley Boyd is number 3; etc. London
After I'd finished the first two postcards, I was having trouble remembering which child was number four. Kinley said, "What about number 3? Didn't you write that postcard?"
I stared at her. "Um, no. I only bought 22 postcards."
"You're not sending me a card?" she asked in disbelief.
"Well….no. I mean, you're HERE…with me."
She gaped at me a moment, told me the name of student number four, and went back to what she had been doing.
I have to admit that I did feel a little bit guilty. Here was yet another way that my child was getting the shaft because her mother is her teacher. Of course, in this case, Kinley got to actually VISIT the places on the card, but I'm sure that most people assumed she might get PREFERENTIAL treatment from me as a teacher. The truth is, usually the opposite is true. She often gets the short end of the stick.
But I still didn't write her. And I think she'll get over it.