Listen. Just Listen.

Ok, I'm sorry.
This blog post isn't going to be funny either.
(Sheesh, what's happened to meeeee?)
I don't even know.

But I do know that sometimes there are these moments. You know, one of those moments that you just know will stick with you forever. I had one of those today.
They don't come around very often - the moments that you remember exactly where you were, what you were wearing, how you felt.

And it was beautifully eye-opening.

Today I was fortunate enough to be able to go on a field trip with 20ish 3rd graders. We walked to our destination in the 90 degree heat and waited outside in the unwavering sunshine for a good thirty minutes. Fortunate.

The USS LST 325 was docked in the harbor across from our school. It actually landed troops at Normandy on D-Day. What an amazing thing to have across the road, huh?

Well, we were finally permitted to begin our tour.
We walked in.
Straight up and onto the ship just as men had done back in  the 1940s.

The tour began. Kids began acting like kids. We kept walking. It was an amazing tour, but that's not what stands out.

As we were walking up to the galley, I noticed a gentleman sitting with another man, maybe his son.
He was elderly, in a wheelchair, and they were just sitting there taking it all in.
I'll never forget his coral shirt. His neat, velcro shoes. His wrinkled skin.
I made my way to them and sat down.
I asked the gentleman if he had served.
He started talking.
It poured out of him.
He was a veteran.
He had been on a similar ship.
He remembered it all.
"I was there.  I was only 18."

Thank you.
His teary eyes smiled up at me.
He thanked me for visiting.

That moment.
In that moment, I realized so much.
Mostly, I realized how important it is to stop and listen.
To real people. Real words. Real feelings.

Like kindness, it's so easy, yet so difficult.

Now that I've been all serious, listen (or watch) this awesome video.

This was a memorable day at school. The kids were hard at work writing letters, so I played some Kidz Bop for them as background music. They knew every word to every song. So, what does a teacher do? Takes 40 seconds to lip sync, of course!


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