Arleigh had a project due this week. She was given a word. She had to plan a t-shirt design that would illustrate the definition of the word. She also had to write a sentence on the back of the shirt using the word. All of this was gearing up for TCAP writing assessments this week. I need to admit the project irked me a bit. I had to run out and buy a t-shirt and fabric markers. Now, the t-shirt wasn’t a big deal since I found one on clearance but the fabric markers were $10. Of course the markers were optional if she finished the project at school, which wasn’t likely. So I had a burr in my butt just thinking about it. I really hate to be given a chore like hunting things down last minute when I’ve already done the week’s shopping. I couldn’t get other parents out of my head either. What if they didn’t have the money at the end of the month to run out and get it all? So I wasn’t exactly encouraging.

On top of it all, one of her teachers was trying to help and told her maybe she should draw her class at their desks with a bunch of brains. Arleigh is in the class that moves a bit faster. I didn’t want her comparing herself to other students like that though. I think all of my kids are exceptional in many different ways. I told her to think about a group of things and what would make one of those things exceptional, like a dozen eggs. So it was decided that she would draw eggs on her shirt and we could use sequins and glitter to make one look different. Now I’m wondering if pretty should be exceptional but she chose to call it shimmering, so I guess we’re good. (I’m thinking I over think things… opinions?) She went to school armed with her outline and a drawing. She came home from school upset. Another teacher told her it should be in 3-D, her drawing didn’t look like eggs. Oh my word! I wanted to call the teacher and ask if she was an English teacher or an Art teacher. I refrained.

Arleigh wasn’t feeling well all weekend. I can see how bad she feels in that picture. I procrastinated. Then, Sunday she started running a fever. I kept running through my head how we would make her shirt in three dimensions. Then, I remembered some model magic. We cut a box, I used my handy dandy glue gun to get it stuck to the shirt. Arleigh wrote her sentence on the back and started making eggs out of the model magic. Then, the kids went nuts eating Valentine’s Hershey Kisses. I took the tin foil and hot glued it to the biggest last egg. It’s hard to see her rainbow of words but it turned out great. Arleigh did an “Exceptional” job especially considering how lousy she felt. I know the definition of at least one word that she won’t forget. I also know it’s exceptionally hard to buckle a seatbelt with a three dimensional shirt. I also know that I was not an exceptional example during this project. I need to work on that happy heart thing I’m always preaching to the kids.