The Red Plate
My son ate off his red plate last night as he has at other particular milestones in his life; birthdays, significant academic accomplishments, honors, acceptances, graduations. The antique red glass plate was set out along with the other four regular plates as we celebrated his most recent accomplishment. Upon noticing it, there was a softly spoken, "Thanks Ma" uttered through his 25 year old, ear-to-ear smile.
The red plate has been a tradition in our house since the boys were six and three. A gift from their grandmother, it was hard for little boys to get excited about a couple of antique glass plates. Growing up, their friends were rewarded with money and gifts for grades, while at our home, a "perfect" report card meant eating off the red plate. Earning an Appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point was a red plate night. And sometimes the plates would travel too. They have been covertly given to wait-staff at restaurants so meals would be brought out on them... as just a little extra recognition that they are special.
At The Dewey School, part of our birthday celebration is with the RED Plate. Our snacks are always served on plates and eaten with the necessary utensils. On the special occasion of a birthday, that student is acknowledged with their snack being served on the red plate. A symbol. A gesture. A simple honor for a special occasion.
Here is the story that accompanied my Mom's gift to my boys so many years ago. Maybe it will become a new tradition in your home too.
The Red Plate
It was a time honored tradition among the early American families, that when someone deserved special praise or attention they were served dinner on the Red Plate.
Today this custom, so dear to early American families, returns to remind us that a simple reward can mean so much.
The Red Plate is the perfect way to acknowledge a family member's special triumph, celebrate a family member's birthday, praise a job well done, reward a goal achieved, or simply say, "you are special today."
When the Red Plate is used, any meal becomes a celebration, honoring that special person, event, or deed. It is a visible reminder of love and esteem, a way of showing someone dear to you that they are special, appreciated, and remembered. It will speak volumes of love, when words just aren't enough.