I wished a former student a happy 21st birthday today and included a picture from their 7th birthday. What was in my inbox in return made my day:
"Thank you so much Mikki! I loved when you came over to my house when I was a kid. Thanks to you I learned to read. Thank you for remembering my birthday. :) "
Most of the time, kids just see the fun they have with me (and sometimes they don't even realize how much they're learning). And in return, I also remember all the fun, imaginative, or unique times we have together. Sometimes, even I can use a reminder of what we've really accomplished together. "Thanks to you I learned to read" was a happy reminder today.