The Sweetest Gift: A Name

“Can I shop at your store?” chirps a voice at the entry of my classroom.

“Of course,” I call out with a mouth full of food. It is recess, my lunchtime.

The student walks in and joins a couple of students in the back of my classroom to shop at my “store,” a closet shoe organizer hung on the wall stuffed with five and dime trinkets and bobbles. As she browses the items in my “shop,” she is musing aloud, “This might work; I think she might like this,” alerting me to her real purpose: to find a gift.

Several minutes later, my customer walks over to me with a couple of items and begins bargaining, “I see that you have a portrait for sale on your reward menu. I want one. How much is it?”

I counter, “what did the reward menu say the cost was?”


“Yes, that is the cost for a portrait.” (My mind flashes back to the year I drew 20 portraits in a week due to the low price…)

“Okay. I want one for my friend.”

“You want me to draw a picture of you for your friend?” I ask.

“No, no!” she answers with an incredulous glare. “I want you to draw her name pretty… I have enough prime points.”

My smile grows big as I finalize the deal.

“How would you like me to draw it?” I asked.

“The usual, bubble letters and rainbow color,” she answered. “I need the drawing by Friday. We are exchanging gifts on Friday.”

Gift purchased.

As I drew the letters and filled them in with rainbow colors, these thoughts ran through my mind.

1. The name you are christened with has been selected for you with such thoughtful care.

2. That very name becomes your personal identity, making you unique to all the world.

3. Your name is the sweetest gift. It’s filled with promises yet to be and greatness of shoes you are yet to fill.

On Friday, when I showed the rainbow, bubble lettered name to this sweet little girl, she clapped her hands and smiled big, “I can’t wait to give my friend this gift!”

I smiled too and thought to myself, “Yes… a name is the sweetest gift.”

This blog is dedicated to my parents… Thank you Dad, for selecting a name that makes me Raquel; and, thank you Jannie, for saying yes.

This blog is also dedicated to the student who reminded me to cherish the sweetest gift… a name.


Author: raqueldixonblog

I am starting my 13th year as a fifth grade teacher and have a total of 22 years as teacher under my belt. I have a BFA in metal working and a MEd in Special Education. My favorite part of being a teacher is it is a place I can be myself. My classroom feels like home.

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