During one of those five minute intervals of drop everything and read, I flipped through Jean Little’s Hey World, Here I Am. I love this book because it is filled with short but meaty stories. I have read “About Loving,” “About Old People,” “About Notebooks,” and “Five Dollars” at least one hundred times each (I swear, I am not exaggerating). Every time I read these pieces, I find myself thinking new things, recognizing new teaching possibilities. On this particular day, though, I revisited a little gem called “Today.” It goes like this:
Today I will not live up to my potential.
Today I will not relate well to my peer group.
Today I will not contribute in class.
I will not volunteer one thing.
Today I will not strive to do better.
Today I will not achieve or adjust or grow enriched or get involved.
I will not put up my hand even if the teacher is wrong and I can prove it.
Today I might eat the eraser off my pencil.
I’ll look at clouds.
I’ll be late.
I don’t think I’ll wash.
I need a rest.
Now, I know that someone just returning from vacation does not rightfully deserve a rest, but I’ve been feeling very guilty about not having crossed off everything on my to-do list, one of which includes writing this blog. So I hope you will all forgive me when I blame Jean Little for giving me permission not to live up to my potential. I promise you this though, this is only for “today.” Tomorrow, I hope to feel differently.