Love in a Paper Bag

The way you can measure a society’s soul is by the way that it treats its children.
Nelson Mandela

Issue No. 37 – 3rd May 2007

Welcome back after the Easter break and welcome to Kidz Newz especially to all new subscribers.  Kidz Newz is a regular newsletter with information and teaching tips for anyone involved with young children.  You are receiving this because you have attended one of my workshops, purchased a book, or you have requested to be on the mailing list.  Thank you.  Please forward this to anyone you feel it may be of interest to.

Feedback is welcome.

My PD/Conference Updates

ECCPA (Early Childhood Conference of Performing Arts) Genazzano FCJ College, Cotham Road, Kew, Melbourne 16th and 17th June 2007.  My presentation will be on multicultural music and movement.

ASME (Australian Society for Music Education) 40th Anniversary Conference. Perth (Western Australia) Convention Centre 6-10 July 2007.  I will be presenting two workshop sessions –
Movement and Dance in the Early Childhood Classroom
Multicultural Music and Movement.

CAYPAKS (Children And Young People Are Key Stakeholders) Conference Perth Western Australia 23-25 July 2007.  I will be conducting a Skills and Activity Based Workshop titled “Using Music and Movement to Empower Children at Risk”.

Love in a Paper Bag

The following appeared in Wayne Mansfield’s newsletter The Maverick Spirit. ( or  He had passed it on having read it in Brian Leaning-Mizen’s newsletter “Strategies for Successful People”.  I happened to be at a breakfast meeting with Brian the very same week (how serendipitous was that?) and asked permission to use his article. He was chuffed. It appealed to me as a parent and as a teacher. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

“It was Molly’s job to hand her father his brown paper lunch bag each morning before he headed off to work. One day, in addition to his lunch bag, Molly handed him a second paper bag. This one was worn and held together with tape, staples and paper clips.

‘Why two bags?’ Molly? ‘The other is something else,’ She answered.

‘What’s in it?’ ‘Just some stuff. Please take it with you.’

He stuffed both bags into his briefcase, kissed Molly and rushed off to work. At 1.00 p.m. while hurriedly eating down his lunch, he tore open Molly’s bag and emptied the contents: two hair ribbons, three small stones, a plastic dinosaur, a pencil stub, a tiny sea shell, two animal crackers, a marble, a used lipstick, a small doll, two chocolate kisses and 13 small coins.  The busy father smiled, finished eating and swept his lunch bag and all the contents of Molly’s bag into the wastebasket.

That evening just before dinner, Molly ran up behind him as he read the paper.

‘Where’s my bag?’ she asked. ‘What bag?’ came the reply.

‘You know, the one I gave you this morning.’ ‘I left it at the office. Why?’

‘I forgot to put this note in it,’ she said. ‘And, besides, those are my things in the bag, Daddy, the ones I really like – I thought you might like to play with them at lunch time today, but now I want them back. You didn’t lose the bag, did you, Daddy?’

‘Oh, no,’ he said sheepishly ‘I just forgot to bring it home. I’ll bring it tomorrow.’

While Molly hugged her father’s neck, he unfolded the note that had not made it into the sack: ‘I love you, Daddy.’

Molly had given him her treasures. All that his 7yr-old held dear. Love in a paper bag, and he missed it – not only missed it, but had thrown it in the wastebasket.  So back he went to the office, just before the cleaners did their rounds and picked up the wastebasket, tipping all the contents on his desk.  After washing the mustard off the dinosaur and spraying the rest of Molly’s treasured things with breath-freshener to kill the smell of onions, he carefully smoothed out the wadded ball of brown paper, put the treasures inside and carried it home. The bag didn’t look so good, but the stuff was all there and that’s what counted.

Later that night he asked Molly to tell him about the stuff in the sack. It took a long time to tell. Everything had a story or a memory or was attached to dreams and imaginary friends. Fairies had brought some of the things.

He’d given her the chocolate kisses; she’d kept them for when she needed them. ‘Sometimes I think of all the times in this sweet life,’ he mused, ‘when I must have missed the affection I was being given. A friend calls this standing knee deep in the river and dying of thirst.’

We should all remember that it’s not the destination that counts in life, but the JOURNEY.

That journey with the people we love is all that really matters.

Such a simple truth so easily forgotten.” Anonymous

For more of Brian’s wisdom, go to

Quotes of the Week

“To the world you might be one person, but to one person you just might be the world”  Unknown

“A person never stands so tall as when he stoops to help a child.”  Unknown


Why We Love Children


While working for an organization that delivers lunches to elderly shut-ins, I used to take my 4-year-old daughter on my afternoon rounds. She was unfailingly intrigued by the various appliances of old age, particularly the canes, walkers and wheelchairs. One day I found her staring at a pair of false teeth soaking in a glass. As I braced myself for the inevitable barrage of questions, she merely turned and whispered, “The tooth fairy will never believe this!”  


A little girl had just finished her first week of school. “I’m just wasting my time,” she said to her mother. “I can’t read, I can’t write and they won’t let  me talk!”


I loved the way that the children were always engaged and how many aspects of music and motor skills were taught without the children realizing.

Kate Bembrick, Frankland Primary School, Western Australia

About The Author

Marlene Rattigan B.A., Dip. Ed. (ECS), CELTA

Marlene Rattigan is an Early Childhood teacher, a teacher of English as a Second Language, and from 1987-2000 was a nationally accredited fitness leader. Her background is in music education. A keen interest in motor development in children led to the creation of Kidz-Fiz-Biz which she taught successfully for 13 years. Marlene also conducts workshops for children, teachers and parents at schools, in the community and at festivals. She has produced teaching manuals complete with audio CDs which are an extension of her ‘Kidz-Fiz-Biz’ program.

57 Henry Lawson Walk, East Perth WA 6004
T: +61 8 9325 1204 M: 0410 64 2781 E:

Enjoying Kidz Newz?

Perhaps a friend or colleague would enjoy it too!  Add their contact address and click “Forward”. (Be sure to include this entire message, including the subscription details) By doing this you will help us grow.

Looking for lots of ideas? Visit the Kidz Newz archive where you will find back issues of Kidz Newz.  Click on

Until next time – continue being a legend in your classroom.

Marlene Rattigan, Editor
Kidz Newz

If you would like to stop receiving these advices you can manage your subscription by following the instructions below.

We have your email address as %%EMAIL%%.

If you do not wish to receive any further editions of this email bulletin then please Click on the link below to CANCEL your subscription or EDIT your details:

Item added to cart.
0 items - $0.00