The things that I am grateful for come in no particular order other than what happens to inspire me each day. I have wonderful kids in my classes and I enjoy the ones who wander in as library patrons. But they aren't really at the center of this story, although I am grateful for each and every one of them.
It started today when BJ Burgess walked into the library. He's a student from several years ago who joined the army right after graduation. He started his career as a military policeman in Italy and then deployed to Iraq. We have kept in touch through myspace. What a joy it was for me to see his gorgeous face, so strong and mature, so handsome in his uniform and to catch up with him a bit. Then in behind him came his younger brother, Chris. Chris is in his second year of college in Kansas. He's been in Peru on a mission trip and will be returning soon. So proud of both of these boys.
After school, on my way to exercise, stopped at a stop sign, I saw one of my students run out of the front door of her friend's house, jump off the porch onto a small trampoline, sail through the air making cheerleader motions, then land with a triumphant "stick." I applauded. I don't think she saw me. She turned around and ran back toward the house, jumped on the trampoline, back onto the porch and disappeared into the house. It was funny and quirky and I was so glad I was there to see it.
My final student encounter of the day came in the Walmart parking lot. I was there to find a copy of "The Star Spangled Banner" for our Veterans Day assembly tomorrow. Walking from my car to the store I heard, "Hi Mrs. Perry." I turned and there was Casey McClure. I haven't sen her in a hundred years. She was with her fiance, Ricky, who is from California. That gave us something to talk about. We chatted all the way to the doors and then parted ways as we took off on our separate missions. (The only SSB I could find was Jimi Hendrix, so I got it.)