We often find what we're looking for.
Random header image... Refresh for more!

I spy joy in glasses made of glow sticks

Ms. Kessel & Mrs. Muecci

Taryn and I walked into the Yankee Doodle Dance at Hough Elementary and were greeted by the 3rd grade teachers wearing glow sticks for glasses.  Brilliant.

Such silliness is not only joyous, it’s divine.

Think about it–how wonderful does it feel to do something completely goofy? Freeing.  Fun.  Joyful.  Brilliant.  Divine.

Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly.
–Gilbert K. Chesterton

February 21, 2010   1 Comment

I spy joy in reptiles

Every Tuesday night for several months of the school year my kids’ school (Hough Elementary) hosts an event for kids and family to come together. Last night was Reptile Man night. It’s one of my personal favorites, and is very popular with the kids. Reptile Man is Scott Petersen, and he’s really good at what he does.
Scott educates the audience with all kinds of interesting facts about reptiles while he pulls out a variety of exotics like Black Mambas, King Cobras, large Anacondas (albino, even) and the colorful Gila Monster. There are oohs and ahhs and excited gasps continually throughout his show. Joy remains present in full force as children line up afterward to get their photos taken with one of the animals (an alligator or a boa constrictor were the choices last night).
While in line with my kids for a shot with the beautiful boa, one of their classmates, Madi, got in line behind us and was just beside herself with giddiness. She told us that while she was getting her picture taken with the alligator it peed on her. She giggled and held out her shirt to show as many passers by as she could.
Not only did this alligator’s lack of bladder control not dissuade her from posing with the boa, but I believe it was one of the most fun and interesting adventures she’d had all week. I was so delighted with her whimsy and ability to laugh about an experience that would have brought less confident children to tears that I had to take her photo and share the story.
Hats off to you, marvelous Madi! May your joi de vivre light the way for everyone you meet.

February 11, 2009   No Comments

I spy joy in teddy bears

Macaroni and cheese, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, warm chocolate chip cookies with a tall glass of milk, chicken noodle soup and teddy bears — these are some of the great comforters of our young lives. Many of which endure well into adulthood. (I’m 40 and most of these bring me that wrapped-in-a-blanket feeling to this day.)

This may be why Hough Elementary, where both my kids attend school, hosts a Teddy Bear Picnic once a year। Children are able to bring their bears (or any other stuffed animal, for that matter) to school, sit the cuddly critters next to them during class and bring them to the cafeteria for a lunch of deli sandwiches and teddy bear graham crackers. The kids love it. “It’s one of their favorite days of the year,” attests Candy Wallis, Hough Para-Professional, cross-walk attendant and joy-spreader extraordinaire.

Standing in the classrooms and seeing so many children proudly introducing their little bundles of comfort to their classmates brings a smile to even the most weary of parents, hustling through the morning hoping to get to work on time; not to mention what it does for the children.

But Hough is a school where 62% of the children are eligible for free or reduced lunches, and there are plenty of bearless arms. Enter Dave Lafayette (pictured here); parent, school volunteer and Senior VP of Language Fusion. Just after the tardy bell rings and children are settling into their seats, Dave is delivering a bag full of bears for those children who have come to school empty handed.

On the surface, having a teddy bear next to you during class and at lunch may not seem all that important. And certainly, there are kids who choose not to bring a furry friend to school even though they have many sitting on their beds and shelves at home. To some kids, however, this extra bit of comfort and cuddling goes a long, long way. The bears that are handed out to children without get to go home with them. Who knows how many hours and days and nights of comfort and joy they will provide? Even if it were only one, it would be enough.

January 25, 2009   No Comments

I spy joy at school

t's firstday_090308_2001

Today was the first day of school.  For my daughter, it was the first day of kindergarten — a real milestone. She’s been in daycare for years, but that was daycare.  This is school.  You know, where big kids go. Last week she spent some time walking around the house with her backpack on; testing it out, practicing.  So this morning she felt like a pro.  She walked into that building, sporting her pink Barbie backpack and brand new jeans, cool as a cucumber.  When she sat down at her very own desk with her name on it, she beamed.  A new chapter of her life opening. And true to the joyful spirit that she is, she met it with a smile.

As I stood there, snapping photos among a sea of other proud parents with cameras in hand, joy bubbled up and over Hough Elementary and spilled into the streets.

September 3, 2008   No Comments