A Simple “Thank You”

The term “thank you” is something commonplace in our world. It’s a way to say you’re grateful to someone else for an act of kindness. Sounds simple enough.

Emerson Kate doesn’t necessarily think of this term in the same way you and I might. She says “thank you” often. Really often.

My favorite part of her politeness might be trying to translate what “thank you” might actually mean to her. Possible meanings we’ve interpreted thus far:

  • Here, hold this.
  • I’m coming back for this in a minute.
  • Feed this to the kitty.
  • This is broken now.
  • I’m letting you borrow this. For about 3 seconds.
  • I don’t want this anymore.
  • Throw this away for me.
  • I found this on the floor. Now it’s yours.
  • I’m done with this.
  • And occasionally, “thank you”.

Obviously there’d be a real “thank you” in the mix. But it’s hilarious when Emerson piles a 3rd or 4th book on my lap, says “thank you” and goes to get another one. She has no intention of me reading them to her. No intention of taking them back.

I’m always reminded of the Swiss people’s saying “service”. That’s probably more appropriate in her context.  It’s a form of hospitality more than true gratitude.

All that being said, I did witness something amazing yesterday. My daily pickup from daycare was a little early. Right at the end of the kids’ buggy time. I sat in my truck until they were heading inside and snuck to the start of the hallway. Her classroom is at the end on the right.

The teachers are unloading the kids, one-by-one, to head into the classroom for their final countdown until the parents start arriving. The epilogue of the day.

As I approach with caution, hoping to catch a glimpse of Emerson amongst her peers without Dad interaction, I see the cutest thing ever.

There’s a girl in her class who isn’t quite walking yet. She can take about 10 steps and then eats it, much like Emerson did 3 months ago or so. But little “Emmy”(or Emy? how do you spell that) steps back out of the classroom into the hall. Our daughter walks over to the young girl sitting on the floor and helps her stand up by grabbing her hand. She assists her for one or two steps. My heart melts. We have a kind, loving baby. Just like we wished, hoped and prayed for.

Emerson looks up from her task, to check down the long hall by the fishtanks, and sees dear old Dad looking on in awe. As I was admiring her service, she immediately lets go of the girl’s hand and leaves her in the dust. The girls falls to the floor as Emerson is sprinting towards me. Oh well.

And as she raises her arms and tilts her head towards me, those blue eyes full of life saying she’s happy to see me, she says, “thank you”.

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