Burning Stories

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“Mrs. Hubbard, last night I had my first t-ball practice!”

“Mrs. Hubbard, my mom is getting married this weekend and I am the flower girl.”

“Mrs. Hubbard, I am going to the water park tomorrow and I got a new bathing suit and my friend Julie is going and…”

And it goes on. Stories. So many stories. Do you ever just have a story and want to tell it so bad you just have to write it down? That is how I felt the other day. I sat down to write this piece and all I could think about was this story I wanted to tell, but I didn’t have a teacher to run to or a friend nearby. Everyone around me had experienced the story, so it wasn’t new to them. I had this burning desire to write it. It reminded me of how my students walk in with a burning desire to tell and write stories. How it is now rare for my students to be void of a topic. They have become thinkers and writers who see and notice stories all around them and I noticed a story two nights ago that I must share here today. It goes like this…

It’s Friday night and I am sitting in a set of bleachers surrounded by my closest family members. We await the graduation of my niece, Mary, anxiously and listen as Pomp and Circumstance plays in the background. There she is, smiling, glancing only for a moment at our smiling faces as she walks past. We watch her find her seat and listen to the countless inspirational speeches from her classmates. I only see the back of her head now, but notice it bob up and down as she looks around herself at her peers. She is a light. One of those kinds of kids who grew up loving bubbles all the way into her senior year. One who would blow them with her little cousins while they beamed at the wonder. As I look at her now I see imaginary bubbles arising from her, bubbles of her accomplishments, bubbles of pride and happiness.

Throughout the event, I found myself glancing over at my sister. I kept thinking, that will be me in eight short years as I watch my son graduate and then a short two years later I will watch my daughter go across a similar stage, a stage toward adult-hood.

I watch my sister. She is strong, beautiful, and courageous. She is the epitome of a dreamer and the most thoughtful writer I know.

It is moments like this that make me think of inspiration. It makes me reflect on what inspires me and I am reminded of moments like this that I have had the pleasure of experiencing. First moments. Moments like walking across a stage and hearing my name called as I graduated high school. Moments like getting married and hearing my husband and I share vows of love and loyalty. Moments like my parents holding my first born and seeing the glint of a tear. Moments like these that shape us and hold us together through the struggle. Moments that grow us.

Mary, you will have moments of struggle, but you will have moments like these too. Cherish them. Hold them tight. Love these moments that grow you. One day they will only be a memory. Don’t let your stories go untold.