Our son’s week as “God’s Special Child”

Every year when our children start the school year, I am tempted to tell their teachers all about them—their strengths, challenges, and what excites them. My sons are my favorite topic, and I have so much to say!
But I also want them to be able to forge their own paths and begin each year with a fresh start. As a third child, I know all too well how frustrating it can be when people think they know who you are.
So this year when I met their teachers, I said very little about them. And when our first grader came home last week with the news that he had been selected as “God’s Special Child” for this week, I read the assignment and made sure he knew he was the person in charge of picking items to share with the class to tell them more about himself.
For the same assignment two years ago his big brother took his book sharing the story of his life in China before he met us. But Daniel was firm on the fact that he didn’t want to take his adoption life book—or any pictures from the day we met.
“They’re too special,” he said. “I don’t want anything to happen to them.”
Instead he selected:

  • soccer and baseball trophies
  • a bottle of holy water
  • a Chinese rattle drum with his zodiac animal on it (the ox)
  • an Estes rocket (just a shell without the engine in it, of course)
  • a magic bank that looks like the coin disappears when you drop it inside, a treasured item we brought home from our beach vacation this year
  • a train bank he received from an aunt and uncle for his baptism
  • his chop—a stamper with his Chinese name on it
  • a box of photos of him fishing and eating snowballs with his brother and doing a bunch of other things
I loved watching his excitement as he picked each item and packed everything in a box with bubble wrap, ready to carry it to school.
You are probably wondering what his classmates most enjoyed seeing, what questions they asked, how his teacher responded, and all the other questions I asked when he climbed into the car after school. You’ll just have to keep wondering. I have no idea what anyone said or thought or admired or wanted to know more about.
I just know that he had a great day, that being God’s Special Child is fun, that he gets to be the teacher’s helper all week, and that God’s Special Child still has to do homework.
Oh, and I learned that his teacher said he can bring things in every day this week.
“Tomorrow,” he said, “I want to take my fishing rod.”
Hmm. No. I can’t send a fishing rod to school. Even God’s Special Child has to face disappointment from time to time.

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.