A New Eraser

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I've always been a lover of words, of writing. Story books in elementary school, creative fiction in junior high. My favorite part of back to school shopping wasn't the clothes or the backpack.

It was the supplies.

Still true to this day.

Especially, erasers.

A beautiful new eraser, especially a Pink Pearl.
No mistakes made.
No corners darkened with pencil smudges.
Everything even and beautiful.

What wonderful stories would I refine, thanks to that eraser?
What words would I misspell and fix, never to forget?
(For the record, my word is awry)
What doodles would decorate the margins of a quiz, quickly scrubbed away before the bell?

New erasers make me happy.

My oldest niece, Faith, starts kindergarten tomorrow. I remember her birth like it was yesterday, and she was the closest thing I'd known to how much a mother loves, until Max was born. She is and always will be special to me.

Wandering the aisles at Target this morning, I wanted to get her a little something. A card and a little gift to send her off on this exciting new adventure. I examined the school supply aisle, reviewing Dora and Hello Kitty and Disney Princess and Barbie. Binders and coloring books and backpacks and pencils.

About to give up, I spotted them. A three-pack of Pink Pearls.

I taped one to the outside of an envelope, and in it I put a card. I meant to make a copy of the note so I could post it, but forgot, so this is paraphrased:

Dear Faith,
Have a great first day at kindergarten! I love you so much, and I'm so proud of you.
I'm giving you an eraser because new erasers were one of my favorite things when I was in school.
It's important in school, not to be afraid to make mistakes, because that's what learning is all about.
This eraser will help you learn by letting you try again if you're wrong the first time.
Sometimes, being wrong the first time is the most important part.
So have a wonderful day, Faithie! I can't wait to hear all about it!
Always and forever,
Auntie Lizz
PS: Uncle Jamie and Max love you lots too! 🙂

I actually think I might make this an annual back-to-school tradition for all 3 nieces and Max. Just a little note to let them know how much I love them as we send them onward and upward in the world. A bit of advice for the coming year.

Do you have any back to school traditions for the kiddos in your life? I'd love to hear all about them!

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12 Comments

  1. I love the message behind the erasers Lizz! I am getting teary eyed about much meaning it carries, "it's ok to make mistakes" ..such a wonderful gift!

  2. Awesome idea!! I have all of our new school supplies in a pile because I love the way they look. New, like a fresh start for the school year.

    Our absolute tradition is 1st Day of School Ice Cream and Last Day of School Ice Cream. We've had these in Phoenix, San Diego, Denver and now LA — and we look for Mom & Pop ice cream stores to make each city unique.

    The eraser thing just made it onto the to-do list!

  3. Oh I love supplies! I was an art major and I could spend a million dollars on paper alone. mmm. I get excited just thinking about it. What a wonderful idea, I'm sure it made your niece feel loved, and we all know how important that is on the first day of school!

  4. That is really nice of you. I don't have any back to school traditions.

    However my best boss told me when I started to not be afraid to make mistakes because we could fix them. That put me at ease and gave me confidence to try things. Now I am blessed to wrok with interns and help train them. I pass on that same advice to them, to not be afraid to make mistakes. Now If only I could take that advice myself and carry it into my personal life I'd be ok. From one cool aunt to another. Stopping by from Write on Edge 🙂

  5. The smell of a Pink Pearl is like nothing else. The feel. I totally get your attachment to them.

    This is such a sweet thing to do for your niece. I may, with permission, borrow this for my own.

    My kids are entering PreK and 1st grade, so we're early in the traditions phase. I like to take them shopping for a new backpack each summer, just me and them on a slow summer day, and the last day of school we go out to lunch afterwards. This year my son starts a longer day, so that will have to be adjusted.

    Will def check back to see other people's ideas!

    Came from the weekend linkup…

  6. On our first day of school, the kids get a special breakfast, a special dinner, and I have a party for my momy friends so we can celebrate/mourn!

  7. What a lovely idea. My oldest nephew started college (yikes!) last year and I sent him several care packages. He's already asked for more Toblerone shortbread, so thanks for the reminder that I should make and send some since he just moved in for his second year yesterday.

  8. Aww, that's such a great gift and message! I personally enjoy gifts like yours that come from the heart, and I, too, love back to school supplies shopping for me and my kiddies. One tradition I have on the first day (and random days throughout the year) is to leave a post-it note in my children's lunch boxes with a little message from me. If they're feeling anxious, I like to think my post-it eased them a bit. 🙂

  9. Aww, that's such a great gift and message! I personally enjoy gifts like yours that come from the heart, and I, too, love back to school supplies shopping for me and my kiddies. One tradition I have on the first day (and random days throughout the year) is to leave a post-it note in my children's lunch boxes with a little message from me. If they're feeling anxious, I like to think my post-it eased them a bit. 🙂

  10. Aww, that's such a great gift and message! I personally enjoy gifts like yours that come from the heart, and I, too, love back to school supplies shopping for me and my kiddies. One tradition I have on the first day (and random days throughout the year) is to leave a post-it note in my children's lunch boxes with a little message from me. If they're feeling anxious, I like to think my post-it eased them a bit. 🙂

  11. Aww, seeing the picture of the eraser took me back to my second grade year. That was the year we were allowed to take those erasers to school. I used to doodle in my notebook, on the outside margins and just before it was time to turn in the assignment and tear off the page on the notebook, I would erase my doodles. Well, I would erase my mistakes on my work too but the doodling, that was special. I think what you did for your niece is awesome! Yes, definitely make it a tradition! 🙂

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