A 5th grade class adopted me this year.  I’m not sure I can put into words how grateful I am for purposeful time spent with students in a classroom.  I joined them for World Foods Day, and then I had the chance to spend some time writing with them.  They were curious and kind and funny and thoughtful.

They have dogs and cats and brothers and sisters and many, many ideas about the world.

They love sports and swimming and playing the trombone and the violin and the piano.  They love to write and draw and cheer.

Some of them love Fortnite; some of them hate Fortnite.

And they love their teacher.  (She is one of the best!)

We talked about the blog and why I like to write.  We talked about telling your story and about sharing your voice.  We talked about making things personal.

I asked them to spend a little time reflecting on the things from 2018 that made them grateful.  Gratitude can help shape our view of the passing year.  Sure, some hard things likely happened, but some amazing things happened too.

Finishing all of the Golden Sowers.

Visiting California’s Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Getting my loving, crazy ball of fluff who is a black, brown, and white dachshund named Belle.

Going farther on grandma’s farm than I have ever gone before felt like a brave adventure.

Meeting my best friend in the whole world.

Going on a train to the top of Pike’s Peak and fishing on the mountain where the water was so clear.

Feeling happy and relaxed sitting by a sparkling lake surrounded by my wonderful family.

Going to Disney World.

Seeing the beautiful Pacific Ocean and palm trees.

Eating macaroons for dessert with my friends on my birthday.

Getting an awesome teacher who likes to read books and who I get to see almost every day.

We also spent a little time (but not nearly enough) talking about their hopes for the new year.

A trip to Paris.

The Eagles winning the Super Bowl.

The Huskers winning a bowl game (the Huskers going to a bowl game).

Of course there were hopes for things.  Dogs, cats, trips, games.  But more of them hoped for things less tangible.

A good middle school year.

A new friend.

A great life for my family and a great life for me.

And more than a few of them shared this hope…that everyone will be kind.

Out of the mouths of babes, but these were hardly babes.  These are young adults poised to finish the elementary years with courage and perseverance and grace.  They are smart and wise, not always the same thing.  They are young enough to argue about Fortnite and old enough to discuss friendship and kindness.  And they reminded me once again about the importance of our work.

I am grateful for the young people in our schools, and I am grateful for the adults who are helping shape their lives.  And I am grateful to the 5th grade class who adopted me this year!

happy new year


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