Several of my posts have involved preschool since Em started school back in September. They have included my guilt over my hasty fashion sense (that no one is the wiser of-or maybe they are) at drop-off, my baking frenzy (oh, how I would love a sous chef or someone to just tell me what to bake sometimes), the need for thinking ahead when dealing with fundraisers (like who is going to deliver all of them when your child is only three), and of course my favorite-the mommy race of soon-to-be preschoolers.
This most recent one involves the Wish Tree. It is what it sounds like. It is an outline of a tree that adorns the outside of my daughter's classroom door. What "hangs" from the tree changes with the season. At the beginning of the year it was paper apples, then stars, pumpkins, and now snowflakes. The papers have something that the teacher "wishes" for. Parents then choose one of the items and then brings it in for the classroom. The items have included tissues, hand sanitizer, juice (for snack time), cutting a craft, and most recently foil star stickers. This not only helps keep the preschool tuition down but it also keeps the teachers from dipping into their own pockets to buy things for the classroom.
When I saw foil star stickers I immediately pulled the snowflake with that item and stuffed it in my pocket. Who knew I needed such excitement in my life that I had felt the need to pick something "different" from the tree. I guess a bottle of juice was to hum-drum for me.
Maybe it was the memories I had of Sunday School and putting those little stickers on the attendance chart or when I had the pleasure of seeing one of those stickers on a graded paper in elementary school that made me choose them from the Wishing Tree.
Who knew those stickers would be so hard to find?
Wal-mart, Target, Dollar Tree, Michael's, A.C. Moore...no one had them. My only options were Party City or the school supply store which were at least a half an hour away and on a stretch of road that I avoid at all costs.
How could it be so hard to find something that is basically an iconic part of anyone's school memories? I am sure we all have memories of those stickers from at some point in our trip through the school system.
On a recent phone conversation with a friend who is going back to school for education, I asked her if she had any inkling where I could find these stickers.
Then she asked me if I was sure I was looking in the right place.
Of course I had. I had looked everywhere, I exclaimed. From the craft sections (where the crayons and markers were) to the stationary section (where they had stickers and cards) to the party supply section (where they had stickers for the goody bags). When I asked store workers if they sold them I always got blank looks.
This had turned into more work than I realized, but it got me thinking.
Had I really looked in the right place?
At 9:30 last night I made one last trip through the aisles of Wal-Mart. I wasn't going to slink in to my daughter's preschool this morning admitting I was defeated by a bunch of foil stickers. And I was afraid I hadn't looked in the "right place" after all. How foolish would I look if that was the case?
I found them. In the label section amid post-its and file labels. Because they weren't "stickers" they were foil star labels. Who knew?
How often do we look for things that are right under our noses the whole time? Maybe they are a little to the left or right of where we are looking but they are still there. yet, we are oblivious. We may think we know what we are looking for but if our "label" is a little off then it in turn throws us off.
That sense of satisfaction is still unlike anything else when we find what it is we are looking for no matter how small. Sometimes we don't know what it is exactly that it is that we are looking for until we find it.
By the way, I bought three packs of the foil sticker labels. 2145 stickers.
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