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All Is Love 
16th-Oct-2009 05:02 pm
I have had possibly one of the best, most amazing, absolutely top 5 days of my entire life today.

I saw Where The Wild Things Are at the theater, sitting next to the teacher who not only taught me to read, but who taught me to read THAT book, all by myself. She and I are forever connected to that book, as well as Charlotte's Web. She read that book to me when I was in the 3rd grade over a period of about a month. As soon as we were done, I used my allowance and bought myself my very own copy for $1.95. Yes, $1.95. It was 1979.

Today, after I bought our tickets to see the movie and before we went in to get our seats, I sat Miss Shore down on a bench and explained to her that her being with me on this important day was a full-circle moment for me. I began my love of reading with her, my love of Wild Things and rumpuses and talking pigs and spelling spiders, and wanted to present her with a gift honoring everything she's done for me. I told her that it was only right that she have this now, especially on this day. She opened the box and found herself holding my original, 30 year old copy of Charlotte's Web - now yellow with age, the covers cracked and faded and missing corners - my childlike scrawl inside the front cover giving my address and phone number along with the promise of a $5.00 reward for returning it to me were it ever to be lost. The reward was intentionally more than twice what I paid for it, because it was that important to me.

I've read that book a thousand times. Literally THAT book. I've kept it as a thing of value and reverence for 30 years now. It has been a constant source of love and light for any number of reasons, and being that I'm on the cusp of starting my life all over someplace new, it was time to let go of something I'd held on to for this long. The story will never leave me. There was a time in childhood that my sister would impress her friends by holding the book, reading the first sentence on a random page, and watching their faces in astonishment as I could recite the remainder of the scene, word for word, from memory. I would animate all of the spoken dialogue as Miss Shore had, giving the words their heft and infusing them with life, and whenever I have read it in subsequent years it is always her voice I hear reading to me in my head - just as she did all those years ago. It's honestly the way I want it, the way it should be, and yet another reason why I love my life.

The movie was absolute perfection and I adored it. I watched it sitting next to my favorite teacher and great, dear friend, which made me feel special and priceless.

Nothing will ever be bad again.
16th-Oct-2009 09:10 pm (UTC)
This is where the wonderful things are.

I really see no reason at all why this should not be a national story. Not just a typical feel-good piece, but one that lets everyone know that not only are there people who make huge differences in people's lives, but those people changed for the better acknowledge those who made those differences.

A piece that says that some things are worth doing, even if there is no immediate gratification, and if/when it happens, it will be amazing.

Thanks once again for restoring some of my lost faith in humanity.
16th-Oct-2009 09:15 pm (UTC)
I'm envisioning a children's book encapsulating this, beginning with a drawing of him in class, learning to read - perhaps scowling at first just to give it authenticity for most kids - and the last in the book being the drawing of him as an adult hugging his aged teacher while she is holding the very same book. Could work. Something along the lines of "I Love You Forever," only for non-relatives.
(Deleted comment)
16th-Oct-2009 09:25 pm (UTC)
Awesome - glad you liked it.
16th-Oct-2009 09:12 pm (UTC)
Man, you made me cry. Now I have to combat it the only way I know how - name-calling, the worst thing a five-year-old could think up.

16th-Oct-2009 09:26 pm (UTC)
Oh YEAH? Well you're a... You're a...... OH SCREW IT!

16th-Oct-2009 09:16 pm (UTC)
Do you mind if I link to the series of posts about you and your teacher? I really think that this should be shared.
16th-Oct-2009 09:26 pm (UTC)
Oh, please do - I would be honored if you did!
16th-Oct-2009 09:25 pm (UTC)
I named my son after the king of all wild things, and I'm taking him to see the movie--just the two of us. What you have shared here will make the connection even more wonderful. Love you! C.
16th-Oct-2009 09:27 pm (UTC)
Awesome - I love you too, sweetheart!
16th-Oct-2009 10:15 pm (UTC)
Now don't make me cry too! :)

That look on your face in the first photo... I can't find the right words to describe it.
17th-Oct-2009 12:03 am (UTC)
Whimsical ... the word is ... whimsical.

(Seems to me to fit. Even if I did sort of steal it from "Elizabethtown." *G*)
16th-Oct-2009 10:37 pm (UTC)
That was an amazing story, and what an amazing teacher. I agree that THIS is the kind of story we need to hear more about, about such fabulous teachers, and such fabulous boys that grow up to be amazing men. :)
16th-Oct-2009 11:14 pm (UTC)
Oh, fine! Just make me cry and add you.

(here via docjeff ... hope you don't mind if I add you!)
16th-Oct-2009 11:38 pm (UTC)
Damnit! *wipes tears*
16th-Oct-2009 11:43 pm (UTC)
There are not enough superlatives in our language to describe how I feel about this unfolding story. I'm so very happy for you. Thank you for helping to make today an awesome day.
17th-Oct-2009 12:33 am (UTC)
17th-Oct-2009 12:40 am (UTC)
I'm tearing up reading this as well.
17th-Oct-2009 12:41 am (UTC)
As a teacher, I can say that it is awesome when a student comes back and says thanks. Regardless of how long it's been. You ripped my heart out with this post and I am sitting here weeping with the pics and the text.
Thanks, from all of us who are teachers.
You made our days.
xx oo
17th-Oct-2009 02:45 am (UTC)
As someone who is becoming a teacher, it's heartwarming to me to see someone reacting so positively to a teacher/learning experience. I am sure you have made her year.
17th-Oct-2009 03:21 am (UTC) - Circle of Life!
What a story! I'm so happy for you....and I can only imagine that she's got a giant grin on her face tonight too! Such a beautiful circle to complete.

A. Lewis
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