Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Letter From My 2nd Grade Teacher

Back when I was a baby, my mom made me a phenomenal baby book, full of her handwritten notes about everything from my favorite foods to my tendency to hum while eating. She saved every report card I ever brought home and any comment a teacher ever expressed about me. Here is one letter that I recently found, from my 2nd grade teacher.

It reads:

July 3, 1983

Dear Stacey (sic),

Hope you are enjoying this summer. It is certainly hot! I hope you get to swim a lot. Swim for me too!

I want to thank you for being such a great person in my class. The class was a great class and I miss all of you so much.
I thank you for all the gifts you've given me - great and small over the year - but mostly for being such a lovely, responsive girl. I am sure you will always be doing well in life. It will be my pleasure to watch you grow up and it has been my pleasure to have known and loved you this past school year.

Much love to you,

Mrs. Mims

First of all, this is the nicest (and only) letter I've ever received from a former teacher. Although I never had the opportunity to reply to Mrs. Mims back in 1983, I would like to take the opportunity to do so now:

Dear Mrs. Mims,

I am totally enjoying my summer, thanks for asking! You're damn right, it's hot! (But summer in Philly typically is a roaster). You'll be happy to know that I've been swimming a lot and I'm even teaching my one year old son to swim too. Every time we do a cannonball into the pool, we yell out, mid-air, "This one is for Mrs. Mims!"

Thank you for your kind words about my presence in your classroom. Truth be known, all I can recall about 2nd grade is making a gigantic bed of down winter coats with my three best friends and laying on the classroom floor, bundled up, as if we were bracing for a snowstorm. (I still enjoy a good down comforter to this day!)

Yes, I agree with you, the class was a great class and I miss you too. None of my other teachers ever allowed me to snuggle up on the floor that way, and my college professors especially did not appreciate it.

Mrs. Mims, I have absolutely no idea what sort of" gifts" you're referring to in your letter of July 3, 1983, but I imagine I might have made you a gorgeous lanyard keychain or perhaps a masterpiece of Snoopy lying on top of his dog house. As far as me being "such a lovely, responsive girl," well, you're making me blush! You'll be happy to know that I am doing well in life. (I think).

I'm sure you had all good intentions of wanting to watch me grow up, but the truth is, Mrs. Mims, your letter of July 3, 1983, was the last time I ever heard from you. No worries, though. I have had plenty of wonderful people in my life who have watched me grow up.

It has been a pleasure to have known you and loved- (I think that's going a bit too far now). It's been a pleasure to have known you too. And, just a little tip- if you write that you "love" a student in 2010, you'll probably be arrested immediately as a suspected pedophile. I'm just trying to watch out for you.

All the best,

Stacy (no "e" in my name, k?)

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