Yesterday, 2:15 pm:
I’m standing in front of thirty sixth graders, pacing the floor with a novel in my hands, and I feel a lump starting to form in my throat. The words keep jumping off the page and out of my mouth but I’m afraid I might cry. I can’t cry, I can’t cry, I can’t cry, I chant inwardly…
Honestly, before I had children I could read through anything like I would a recipe book. Now, if I detect even a whiff of emotion, my body has no choice. The tear ducts, the throat; they all go on auto-pilot cry mode. It’s rather inconvenient in front of a full class. These words by Cynthia Lord in Rules, are not the ones that made me teary, but I did interrupt myself when I came across them. I stopped, put the book down, and wrote the first line on the whiteboard….and then kept on reading.
“Looking closer can make something beautiful…Sometimes I can change how I feel about something by drawing it. Drawing makes me find the curves, the shadows…and the beautiful parts. I solved my hating snakes by drawing their scales, tiny and silvery, overlapping and overlapping, until all I saw was how perfect they were.”
I’ve only read the first two chapters, but I can tell you that thirty 11 year-olds were captivated by it for at least 1 hour yesterday.
*My own end of the week tradition: words in song or story that move me in some way. I might type my very favourite parts in bold text, and I’ll always try to post a link below the quote so you can get more if you want it. Enjoy!