It didn’t take long for life to flip upside down. As an elementary school librarian without a library, students or books, my role has changed. I can still read to my kids and have opportunities to recommend books – but only electronically.
For chemo families, much of this situation feels familiar: after receiving unexpected news, life changes, especially the need for isolation and germ exposure prevention.
It feels familiar to me for another reason too – my query letter (the plea an unpublished author sends to potential agents) mentions preparing children for the possibility of life changing in an instant.
In my to-be-published, someday-in-the-future book, a medical situation arises, causing my first-grade protagonist to miss his school party. More than ever, we understand that. Due to medical precautions we are all missing the school party. Every party. Indefinitely. The graduations, the weddings, and even the funerals. We especially miss the social parts of life as we knew it and would gladly change back into our school clothes to have that interaction back.
As a result, the books I’m drawn to this month are ones of resilience. The Little Chapel that Stood is a beautiful poem about St. Paul’s Chapel, near the Twin Towers. Written by A. B. Curtiss and illustrated by Mirto Golino, this book explains how that tiny chapel has withstood both time and tragedy since George Washington’s days. Wanting to verify the non-fiction aspects of this story, I visited my favorite history website, The Clio. (https://theclio.com/entry/19992) The building’s history is as majestic as the book professes and so much more could have been said. St. Paul’s chapel would be a wonderful topic for students to study while completing their school at home learning.
And the calendar tells me it is still March. It is still Dr. Seuss month! The book that is most given to graduates provides inspiration for our situation too. Many of us are feeling that slump that Dr. Seuss refers to in Oh, the Places You’ll Go. “And when you’re in a Slump, you’re not in for much fun. Un-slumping yourself is not easily done.” Many of us feel trapped in the spot that Theodore Geisel referred to as “a most useless place. The Waiting Place…for people just waiting.” But our waiting places are filled with opportunities to be innovative and creative.
Thankfully most of us are not trapped on a cruise ship or in a hospital. We are in our dwelling places that are full of “someday I will” projects. Someday is here. Now is the time. Be creative. It’s healthy and sharing that creativity brings joy to other people. I love seeing the parodies that have been created during the extra time talented people have had. And photos of projects attempted. And new recipes tried. And seamstresses working their magic.
I’ll end this entry with a quote from Richard G. Scott because he says it best…
“Being creative will help you enjoy life. It engenders a spirit of gratitude. It develops latent talent, sharpens your capacity to reason, to act, and to find purpose in life. It dispels loneliness and heartache. It gives a renewal, a spark of enthusiasm, and zest for life.”