When I was in 1st grade, my principal gave each student a book. Over the years I have searched my childhood home numerous times, drilling my mother as to where my little book could have been stored. Of course at the time I received the book I did not understand it's value. It was a simple book written for young children just beginning to learn about the world. The book has no real monetary value, however, as I spend more of my career at the elementary level, I realize the true value of that little book I received. I just can't find it.
I can remember what it looks like, the colors and that it had a hardback cover. I recall the principal sitting in the middle of the main hallway of the elementary school surrounded by boxes. As I stood in line with my classmates, we eagerly waited for our personal copy of this special book.
That is where my memory of the book ends. I have no recollection of the story within the pages of the book. I don't know how many times I read the book, but I do remember that I, along with my classmates, received a special gift that day. The gift was reading.
The story of this special book does not end with memories alone anymore. This past week I received a gift in the mail - a copy of that special book from 1st grade. Seems that when my elementary principal came to visit me a couple of years ago he was listening when I told him that I could not find the gift he gave us so many years before. The specialness of the book increased when I opened the package, I recieved in the mail, and found that my elementary principal had contacted his secretary from all those years ago and it was she that had a copy and sent it to me.
This gift has touched my heart knowing that someone thought highly enough of me to give me a book, and then, 30+ years later, give me the same gift again. I now have the book I have been searching for, but somehow, it is more special than ever! This time, I will store it in a very special place - my office at Smithville Elementary School.