I was 6 years old. I was in first grade. My teacher was Mrs. Ritchie. She was a great teacher, and she used her fingers to erase the chalk board. We loved that about her.
She told us that if we got a tree for our classroom, we could flock it. I wasn't sure what flocking meant but it sounded fabulous to me. After this conversation about flocking the tree I was left with the impression that the kids in my class and I were in charge of getting the tree. Could she have possibly put this responsibility on 6 and 7 year olds? There's no telling now, but at the time, I felt like it was detrimental for us kids to get us a tree for our classroom.
That night I told my dad that we needed a tree for our classroom. I couldn't tell if he heard me or not. I seem to remember a lot going on at that instant. I moved on to much more important things like making sure my mom knew what I wanted for Christmas, and making sure she wasn't putting onions in the dinner. (I love onions now, by the way.)
A few days later while we worked quietly in the classroom there was a knock at the door. When the door was opened there was a Christmas tree and three big burly men dress in snowmobile gear standing there. Two of the men pushed their way through the door with the tree and the third pulled off his helmet as he walked toward the teacher. IT WAS MY DAD! My heart swelled. I was so surprised. The whole class was. He asked her where she wanted the tree and while it was being set up I walked over to my dad and he scooped me up.
I said,"I didn't know you were going to bring a tree."
He said, "Well, you told me you needed one."
"I didn't know you were listening."
We smiled. I totally felt like my dad was a hero who saved the day. It was a big beautiful tree.
And Mrs. Ritchie kept her promise. We flocked the tree and it was a big, stinky mess. I did not enjoy it, or the way it looked and smelled after. But I LOVED that tree.
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