It was easy to decide what to write about today.
Every year, Roosevelt Elementary teachers and staff do a holiday production for the students before winter break. And every year, I laugh through my tears and think to myself, "I wish the whole world could be like this--extravagance, silliness, crazy caring."
Ms. Russell introduced the show--"Roosevelt students, one of the things we teach you is to go outside your comfort zone. We're going to show you that today. We're not dancers, but our gift to you is that we get up here and dance even though it stretches us!" And then groups of staff came out dressed like gummy bears, lollipops, chocolate kisses, all doing the choreographed dances they'd practiced after school when the only thing they wanted was to go home. And the principal? He stole the show with some ridiculous moves. I hope he didn't throw his back out.
When Loretta's teacher came back into class, there was a receiving line of fourth graders, waiting to hug and congratulate her. It was like she was backstage at a Broadway production.
And the reason they put in all those hours for 40 minutes of stage time? Love. Love for those students, even for the ones who come in late every day, the ones who throw a wrench into every lesson plan, the ones whose hairlines are full of lice, the ones who can't sit still.
Maybe it's not dressing up like a lollipop, but what crazy thing will we do for love? Forgive, and maybe even forgive the same person a bunch of times. Or say "I'm sorry," the most endangered phrase in our world. Or stop playing it cool and risk rejection Or pick up and move, put a career on hold, learn in public, become more affectionate, befriend a child, give without expectation, march in the streets, go silent when everyone else is spinning. Love always involves a little bit of dying to our egos. I learned that from Ms. Russell today.