As you might already know, at the end of each class for the kids age 5 - 12, I make the students say a phrase. If they say it correctly, they can leave. If they mess up, they go to the back of the line. Usually it's something like "Thank you Meg, see you next week. Goodbye!" - nothing too difficult.
On my birthday, I changed things up and had the kids say "Thank you Meg. Happy birthday!" which ended up being unbelievably adorable. The kids were all 5 or 6, and after I told them in Japanese that it was my birthday, they really tried to say "Happy Birthday" like they meant it. I figured it was a good phrase to practice, and they'd smile about it being my birthday and then leave, but after the class one little boy waited for me and said about 80 words to me in Japanese. Of course I didn't understand anything he said, so I brought him over to Mayu, the manager, and asked him to repeat himself so she could translate.
After he spoke, she laughed and told me, "He said he's going to bring you something for your birthday next week." How cute! Naturally I didn't expect a five year old boy to really get me a birthday present, but the sentiment alone was so nice! I hugged the boy and he looked very pleased with himself and skipped out the door. I was touched, but I thought that was that.
A week passed and the class rolled around again. Nothing out of the ordinary. Then after class, Mayu was talking to the same little boy and called me over. "Meg, he has something for you!"
The boy pulled out a gift wrapped in yellow, blue and red truck-themed wrapping paper (he is five, after all) and handed it to me. I couldn't believe he actually got me a present! I opened it and saw it was a box of bear shaped chocolate cookie snacks. Cute!
Mayu had a short conversation with the boy's mother before they left. Afterwards, Mayu told me the mother said that this was the first present her son had ever gotten for a girl! How funny! I'm sure the boy told his mother that it was my birthday, and then remembered to ask her to get me a present! How thoughtful of both of them! I'm guessing he helped pick it out, too.
So now I either have a new favorite student, or a five year old who thinks I'm his girlfriend. Either way, what an incredibly cute birthday present!