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When I was a teenager, every Friday night without fail, my dad would watch the PBS news show, Washington Week in Review. I would sit sulking on the coach, hating my life and wishing for a humane end to my agony.

I find myself in a similar situation these days. The past few years my husband and I have settled into a nightly routine of watching the day’s news together in the evenings, pausing the TV to talk at length about a particular event, political issue, pundit or analyst.

Gone are those days. I find myself wanting to look away.

All the time. Every time.

So, this morning reflecting back on my work week instead of surfing the internet news sites, I’ve decided for today (and for my mental health and soul survival) to have my own week in review.

This week I’ve–

  • Had a delightfully long chat with Mrs. Bauer’s third grade class about their love affair with Kate DiCamillo’s book, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. The comments, the tears, the regret that Edward was separated from Abilene for so many years. The tremulous excitement when a student said, “Did you know, Mrs. Kimmel, that Abilene and her own daughter found Edward again? That’s how the book ended—it was perfect.”
  • Watched first graders choose partners and form two lines (think speed dating only standing up) to share with each other the similarities between Toot and Puddle. There were some amazingly profound observations.
  • Engaged in a raucous revelry with 80+ fourth grade students as they celebrated their growth as writers. Noisemakers, confetti, high-fives, and a little dancing to honor their effort and hard work.
  • Stolen a few moments for a whispered booktalk in the hall with Mrs. Jeantet. She’d just finished A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness. I relished the ability to have a conversation about it. We talked over each other. There were tears over a book that touched us deeply–in different and not-so-different ways.
  • Re-read some of my favorite tabbed pages in Notice and Note by Beers and Probst, Upstanders by Daniels and Ahmed, Comprehension Connections by McGregor and The Answer to How is Yes by Block.
  • Finished listening to Towers Falling by Jewel Parker Rhodes, started listening to The Inquisitor’s Tale by Adam Gidwitz, read more pages of Some Writer! by Melissa Sweet and am more than half-way through Ghost by Jason Reynolds.

There, I’ve done it.

I’ve managed to look away from the bits of this past week that threatened to suck the life right out of me and instead I’m choosing to wrap my mind and heart around the people and moments that bring me joy.