Friday, May 8, 2009


"We can only be said to be alive in those moments 
when our hearts are conscious of our treasures." 
Thornton Wilder

Her name was Frances.  I knew from my girlfriend Susan, who had taught Frances in the first grade, that she was a special girl.  I was teaching Grade Three when Frances was in my class.  

I was passionate about getting the kids to write, so I had them each keep a 'writer's notebook.'  It wasn't meant to be a journal, it was intended to be a very special book where my young authors could collect ideas for future writings.  They could record little snippets of conversation, notes, quotations, thoughts, absolutely anything they were inspired to jot down.  The writers' notebooks would never be graded, but I did collect them from time to time to provide the kids with feedback.  I loved reading through these books.  They came in all shapes and sizes, and were as unique as the writers who owned them.

I wish I could remember more of what Frances wrote, (and said for that matter,) but one little sentence of hers has stuck with me over time.  She wrote, "I'm really enjoying my life."  She was eight years old. 

Now that I have children of my own I wonder, how does one encourage that level of self-reflection and appreciation at such a tender age?  Perhaps it's through modeling.  I trust that if we're grateful mamas, we're going to raise grateful kids.

Have a happy Mothers' Day you beautiful mamas!