Sometimes, I feel like I am the Village Teacher.
I imagine that such a Teacher stands at the door of the school room welcoming the children. Parents cycle past and drop off all manner of love gifts. I have taken pictures of some of these. At first, I tried telling parents not to give gifts. I thought it would be more useful to have them donate to a charity on my behalf. Somehow, that did not quite take off. So, the gifts kept coming. I've only got pictures of some.
The rest, I ate up.
There was corn, mugwort, potted plants, a basket of yangmei, skin whitening masks, breads, cakes (both bought and home made). Very often, the parents spare no expense. They don't just buy apples or papayas. They buy yangmei. It ain't just chocolate. It's organic chocolate. Organic chocolate is expensive. I know because I browse those chocolates and cannot bring myself to buy them!
For some weeks, I wondered why parents were providing me a constant supply of gluten free corn flakes. Then I remembered that some time back I had blogged about falling ill after eating a bowl of Kellogg's corn flakes. Another parent read about me being a mosquito magnet and she promptly gifted me with an ultrasonic essential oil diffuser. Clearly, these are thoughtful gifts, and parents took time to think about what I would like. Then they spent time buying these gifts.
The value of these gifts go beyond their monetary value. These gifts come infused with an aura of joy and love which parents strive to show me in tangible ways via a basket of exotic fruit or a box of corn flakes.
To honour the parents' gifts I make it a point to make them something from my kitchen - loaves of bread (gluten and non-gluten), crèmes brûlées, bone broth. It can get quite pleasant, this exchange of gifts and regard. Makes me feel loved... and I think the parents feel appreciated too!
Still, it bothers me to collect so many gifts from parents. I stopped parents from giving me gifts on Teacher's Day. We organised a donation for SPCA instead. Since then, it appears that every weekend is Teacher's Day. I would be happy with just a card or a handwritten note that I can read through and hold when I am 80 years old... and can only relive the memories of a Dr. Pet still active and contributing. I could also take out these same cards to wave at the children grown into adults, who might come by to visit.