I mentioned previously that last school year was rough. No, I mean really rough. The kind of year where you seriously question your career choice. When the ‘Help Wanted’ sign as you walk into Target starts to look like a very good option. It was the toughest 179 days I’ve ever done (we had one ‘bad weather’ day, but who’s counting?).
Summer was a precious reprieve. It was a time to reflect on the past year, to rest and rejuvenate, and to actively look into other career opportunities.
One day I received a phone call from someone at the school asking my shirt size. I promptly asked whether it was for a polo or a t-shirt. Like it mattered. I felt like one of those kids in the spelling bee, stalling for time–“Can I have a definition, please?”
I finally answered, giving the appropriate information, and then immediately forgot about it. On the first day of pre-school, we were presented with a tote bag of information and goodies, including a t-shirt featuring the school mascot and the words, ‘United We Learn’. It was a little cheesy, but a nice gesture nonetheless.
For Friday of the first week of school, the principal, who’d purchased the shirts himself, asked for everyone to wear them, kind of a Spirit Day. After dismissal, everyone gathered in the cafeteria for a group picture. I watched as people trickled in from their various duty assignments and I saw something I hadn’t seen at work in a long time. Smiles. Lots of them. And laughter. People were happy and they felt a sense of belonging and of family.
Sometimes a shirt is just a shirt. Sometimes it’s more than that.