The start of school always brings a whole slew of adventures, and not just for the students in our family. The parents always get dragged along for the ride.
If you count pre-school, I have been the parent of a school-going child for over ten years, so “what I did on vacation” essays, informational sheets, ridiculous lists of school supplies (where on earth will you store the THREE boxes of Kleenex required of every child??!?), five copies of the same exact parent emergency card to be filled out for every child in the family by tomorrow . . . none of these assignments surprise me.
In fact, they bore me.
This year, however, along with the mildly fascinating news that Miss Hefner is now Mrs. Baldi, I’ll admit there was one assignment that caught my attention: one of my little ones had to create a “Personality Bag”.
A “Personality Bag”, I was informed with not a little disdain, is a bag that contains up to 7 things which, when displayed, will illustrate for the class the owner’s personality.
My Sam spent quite a bit of time last night hunting through bookshelves and toy boxes to find just the right combination of treasures for the bag, and this morning Sam announced he had finally found the right collection of pieces for his bag: A New Orleans Zephyrs baseball, a Pokemon card (Blaziken, FYI), his favorite Value Tale, a baseball card (Sammy Sosa, of course) and a medal awarded to all the kids on the team at the end of last soccer season.
All of these things would communicate to his new classmates all the critical things about him: that he was born in New Orleans; that he loves Pokemon; that baseball is his very favorite sport and he hopes to be the next famous baseball player named Sammy; that soccer makes his list, too; and the books are his primary love affair at the moment (note: in a nice thematic trend, his favorite Value Tale is about Jackie Robinson).
As I watched Sam’s progress on his bag I started to wonder what I might put in a Personality Bag of my own. I thought of several things but then got distracted by the thought of what exactly this bag of mine might look like itself . . . . Summer or fall? Leather or synthetic? Elegant with one color or funky with a design?
My reverie was interrupted when Sam came in and said, “Hey Mom, do you think I could put my Bible in the bag?”
Hmmmm. Hadn’t thought about THAT.
I stumbled around with some response, trying to think of how un-PC it might be to show up at public school with a Bible as Sam went on to explain, “It’s just that I love church so much and I think my friends should know that about me.”
I decided right then that my Bible should be in my Personality Bag, too. Because I love church a lot, too, and I think that’s something my friends should know about me.
I also decided, however, that no matter what’s in it, my Personality Bag should be very, very cool.