Sunday, June 19, 2011

I Hope You Dance


Dear Friends,

Do you remember that last day of second grade? In June of 2010? The day we first met? The first time we gathered on the rug together? We read this book, a gift from my dear friend, together? Remember when we got used to the pattern of the book and we were completing the rhymes of the book? Saying to each other, "I hope you dance." And then we met again in late August, the first day of third grade. Again we gathered on the rug. And again we read this book.

Some day, when you are older than you are, but not nearly as old as the stars, you'll understand why I hope what I hope for you. But between the distant then and now, if I look at you like you're the cats meow, it's just because my heart is in my throat for you. Listen...

I hope you never lose your sense of wonder. Your curiosity about everything around you made me see the endless possibilities in the world around us. Every time one of you began a question with, "what would happen if..." made me eager to discover the answer with you. I didn't know that if you left homemade toothpaste out in the air it would become hard like clay. Or that the way our room was set up could look like an airplane. Or that the earth's layers are like the human body. Your questions and musings made me see our world in a whole new way.

Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens. I saw so many of you deal with heartache and disappointment this year. Many of you lost a loved one or had to deal with big change in your life. But I also saw each of you rely on your new (and old) friends in our classroom to help you get through difficult times. Remember that just because the door to our year together is about to close we are all opening another door to a new classroom with new friends. Maybe even some old ones. It will be okay for all of us.

Promise me...that when you have the the choice to sit it out or dance...you dance. Be fearless. Always be the risk taker you have proven to be this year. Take on new challenges. Know that they may be difficult, but also know that you can do it. You have the skills and resources available to you to try new things. To venture into the unknown. And remember...you are not alone. You always have friends there to help you and cheer you on if you need it.

Never settle for the path of least resistance. Living might mean taking chances but they're worth taking. Work hard. If it is too easy than we won't learn anything from it. It will not become a part of us. Sometimes we have to make mistakes and that's okay. It is from our mistakes that we will learn. Just like we learned what to do when the computers didn't work. Or when we didn't know how to multiply. We worked hard to figure these things out, and because we persevered we now know what to do.

I hope you're never ever lost and always found. You are incredibly special. Your ability to draw well. To take things apart and be able to put them back together. To make someone laugh, cheer them up when they are blue. Your ability to be just as serious about learning as you are about playing. I hope every person you meet sees your unique talents and values you for who you are instead of who they want you to be.

But, most of all...I hope you DANCE!

Quotes from the children's book I Hope You Dance by Thomas Nelson and the song I Hope You Dance by Leann Womack.


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