When I walk onto the playground with my 3rd graders for morning recess, I am frequently greeted with, "So let me see your earrings today!" Susan, who teaches kindergarten, gives me a wry smile and says, "You have the best earrings." She noticed my earring collection years before I began this blog, and expressed interest in how each pair connected to my day. Susan is like that: kind, thoughtful, supportive. And fun. She and my daughter Kathe went to see Mary Poppins last spring when we were in NYC together for a writing conference. Their rickshaw ride home from the theater was a highlight of Kathe's trip.
Susan spied these dragonfly earrings at Sara Schneidman's gallery in Culpeper, VA, and thought of me. They were made by Guatemalan women in home industries--my favorite sort of enterprise, since it allows women to care for their children while earning money to support them. Fair Trade crafts make a difference, since the profits go to the people in developing countries, rather than into the pockets of middlemen.
A couple of weeks ago, Susan told me that she'd bought me a pair of earrings. This morning, she handed me this pair, along with the flier from the gallery. I don't know when I'll be in Culpeper, but I plan to stop on Davis Street to see their wares.
At dismissal this afternoon, two of my students ran up to me with a book containing pairs of choices. "Would you rather this, or that?"
"This is the hardest one ever! Listen: Would you rather have wings so you can fly, or gills so that you can swim underwater?"
I touched the earrings dangling from my ears and replied, "I don't have to choose, I'm a dragonfly! I can swim with gills as a nymph, and fly with wings as an adult!"
"No fair!" laughed Emma.
"I told you she'd say that," nodded Alexa. "She loves dragonflies. You have to admit, they are amazing."
If it hadn't been for Susan, I wouldn't have been wearing this visual aid today. Thanks, Susan.