"What do you think of this?" I ask Julia.
We are at the mall trying to decide on something to bring as a gift for her friend's mother. Julia will be staying with Camila and her parents in Austria for spring break. (Trust me, my girls have GREAT spring breaks!)
"I think she'd like it," Julia says. She sets up the shawl and takes a quick picture. "I can ask Camila what she thinks."
We think about this for a moment. If we ask, we get the confirmation that Camila's mom will like it. If we don't ask, we run the risk of... what? What do we run the risk of?
Julia sends the picture, and Camila texts right back that it's great. She'll love it.
Julia and I agree to head to Nordstrom to get something for Camila's dad, and we can see if there's anything we like better for Mrs. R. We choose fun socks (without texting Camila), contemplate a couple of scarves (still without any more texts), and decide to stay the course with the shawl.
While it feels good to have chosen gifts that we both like, I'm sorry we texted Camila at all.
I wish we hadn't.
I'm reminded of a PD session that happened several years ago. Thinking about The Giving Tree, we debated whether or not the tree was strong with teams of teachers taking both sides. One of the teachers developed the idea that the tree was strong because it was unafraid to decide on a gift, and that was indicative of not only confidence, but also empathy. Giving gifts takes courage. Her line of reasoning has stayed with me, and I have tried to do a better job of selecting and presenting gifts with confidence, empathy, and courage.
Julia is somewhere over the ocean as I write this post, and the shawl and socks are wrapped in her suitcase. I can't wait to hear about her trip, and I hope they'll like our gifts.