Blessings – #slice

Some days you have a hard time plodding along let alone remembering how lucky we have it to have jobs, homes, clean water, and good health because we’re so bogged down with the irritating minutia of everyday life.

Some days you can’t stop smiling because you can recognize blessing after blessing that comes your way no matter how much nonsense life tries to throw your way.

The last few days have been so good to me, I nearly can’t stop smiling.

We were able to spend a lovely weekend in DC for the National Book Festival where my son was able to meet not only my friends Dawn Little & Chris Kervina, but also Kirby Larson, Katherine Applegate (who was patient and kind – and so impressed that he wants to be Mr. Schu when he grows up!), Jon Klassen, Jenni and Matt Holm (he calls them the “Holm Team” – they were also). He got to hear Matt and Jenni talk as well as Kevin Henkes and Katherine Paterson. He tagged along to hear some of Daniel Pink’s presentation as well as Benjamin Percy’s. (He stopped reading Flora &- Ulysses whenever Mr. Percy would talk about how he wrote. I wasn’t sure if he was as mesmerized by his voice as I was – or if he was taking notes about How to Be a Writer. You never can tell with him.) He chatted up Lisa McMann while she signed my books. He didn’t get to meet Matthew Quick, but he was really impressed with his signature.

All in all a positively magical weekend -but even more so when I looked at all of it through my son’s eyes.

Sunday night was a brilliant #nctechat hosted by Teri Lesesne and Laurie Halse Anderson and Judy Blume. Besides the rush of tweets that passed my eyes, filled with all sorts of passion for books and against censorship, I happened to respond to a tweet from Stephen Chbosky, the author of The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Next thing I knew I was having a total fangirl moment because he wrote back. I think the first time – hell anytime – one of the authors I adore and look up to does this, my heart skips a beat. It doesn’t matter if I’ve met them or if they write back to me frequently. I’m still geeking out inside and my stomach does flip flops.

This happens a lot these days.

And I pinch myself every time just to make sure I’m not dreaming.

And I still can’t help myself from looking to find someone else nearby to celebrate it when it happens. (I was grateful one of my students was around to appreciate my excitement about tweets from Cheryl Rainfield and Jennifer Brown after school today!)

We talked about banned books yesterday in class and has some really wonderful discussion about why adults might not want students to read certain books – and why those are often the same reasons why those books should be shared with students. “It’s not like we don’t see or know about these things, that they exist.” “It’s not like reading them is encouraging us to do bad things.” They appreciate that there are things they want to know that make adults nervous – that they’re grateful authors write books about the serious and difficult and ugly parts of life. Hiding those things, they explained, doesn’t make anything easier.

Yep. I am blessed with a bright and observant group of students who managed to echo this sentiment every period of the day.

Then came the mail call – four lovely posters from Litograms for my classroom, a copy of Living with Jackie Chan from Sherry for my classroom, a shiny new copy of The English Companion by Jim Burke, my Scholastic Book Club order (with a huge stack just for my classroom), and a copy of Fangirl from Danielle.

What a week so far. I can hardly wait to see what tomorrow brings.

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