Yes, it’s that time of the year – the giving of Christmas and thankyou gifts to Abby’s teachers. She compiles a list – teachers she LOVEs and wants to give a handmade gift. Teachers she likes and wants to give a small gift and card. And – the teachers she doesn’t like and gives nothing.
In 11 years of teacher gift giving there’s only been 4 that have made that final list – the Year 3 teacher from hell, the Year 7 PE teacher, the Year 8 Cooking teacher, and this year’s winner – the Literature elective teacher – bizarre but true. Abby’s strongest subject has always been English, she’s been in the English extension group for the last 3 years, she excels at English – not with this woman. I found her condescending and arrogant – she was one of those uninspiring teachers that demand you think her way or fail.
As for having such a list – I’m fine with it. We follow the Mr. Incredible School of Thought – when everybody is special, no one is special. Abby is a well behaved, witty, keen to learn student who generally likes her teachers. If she presents a thoughtful gift and card to Ms. Condescending as well as fabulous Mr Wilson, she is either lowering Mr. Wilson to Ms. C’s status, or elevating Ms. C to Mr. Wilson’s well deserved status as a kind, generous, and enthusiastic teacher who makes a positive contribution to Abby’s life. So there you go Ms. C – a lump of coal for you!
But I digress, we’re here today to discuss “the true purpose”. You see, to those outside my way of looking at the world, it might seem that I have a bit of an obsession with fabric, with patchwork, with colour, with pattern, with creating … you know what I mean. And this leads to sudden urges to put this together with that and come up with something that makes my heart sing and needs to find its place in Bootville. This can happen with cushions. I love making cushions. We have many cushions. We have more cushions than we have armchairs and sofas to put them on. This is a shame. One I regularly try to remedy by bringing home the lost armchairs and sofas I find on the side of the road. Y-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-s. Last year, Zach declared that I should open a “sitting” cafe – rent a simple shop up at Elsternwick, put all my sofas and chairs (reupholstered of course) in there and invite people in to sit – ha! ha! ha!
However! This morning I discovered the true purpose behind random (and excessive) cushion making. To meet the demand of unexpected and ran-out-of-time teachers’ christmas presents. I made the cushion shown here for the wonderful Ms. Borley – what a gem – sensible, creative, quirky, funny and totally gets Abby. But I didn’t get a chance to make one for Ms. Mara – gorgeous woman who knows so much about teenagers and is completely unflappable. Ta-da! We’ll give her the freshly made Spring Swing Cushion – perfect!
Then, as she finished writing her card, Abby looked up and asked where Ms. Lewis’ – her passion and delight in Abby makes my heart squeeze with joy – cushion was. Ahem. Thinking, thinking, thinking …. ta-da! We’ll give her the delicate white linen and yellow floral with the indian styled running stitch cushion – just right!
See Julian! See! That’s the TRUE purpose behind making lots of cushions. So’s that when the time comes that there’s a beautiful gift needs giving to a beautiful person, we HAVE one ready and waiting! See! See! It’s called being prepared. In fact, I think I’ve heard some folks refer to having things prepared in advance as … ORGANISED. Ha!
Oh, and there was Christmas peppermint bark for the rest of those marvellous teachers (and Bob, the crossing man – an exceptional fellow who chats with Abby every afternoon, wanting to know what she’s been making, what she’s been up to, admiring her art – his friendly sincerity brings tears of thanks to my eyes more weeks than not) who contribute so positively to my dear girl’s days - in wee cellophane bags, tied up with gilt edged ribbon. And Abby shovelled the leftover bark into the biggest preserving jar we have and carted it off to school to share with her friends and classmates.
Phew! Done for another year! Good thing I love making cushions … in advance :-) And a very Merry Christmas and peaceful, restful, lovely holiday to the many wonderful people at Abby’s school. I am so very grateful for – and regularly in awe of – the care and love you extend to my daughter every day.