Grateful and Wonder-FULL

Today I'm grateful because I was invited to host my first webinar on Wednesday, for a group of superhero counselors in Iowa. It was a fun challenge, to prepare and share some strategies for supercharging our character building using this medium. Click the image below to check it out. 

I'm also thankful to be on Thanksgiving break. After taking care of some car maintenance this morning, I treated myself to the movie Wonder.

Click to image for a freebie bookmark download from Presto Plans.
I knew I'd love the movie based on its trailer.
Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson, and a space-boy named Auggie;
can you say magic formula?
But since I haven't read the novel ... yet ... I had no way to prepare
for the different layers as the onion unpeeled.
{I use the onion metaphor purposefully because of all of the tears.}

I felt great empathy for and fully connected
with the mom's story,
with dad's story, 
with Via's story,
with Miranda's story,
and with Jack's story.
Layer after layer, so much suffering and sadness.
So much loss and loneliness.
So much fear and frustration.
Life can be really hard.

Their conflicts reminded me of what I'm blessed to do every day,
to step into the stories of our students
and to help them process their feelings,
cope with their situations,
and garner up the grit and grace they'll need
to face whatever comes their way.
I get to comfort and to care for them,
to help make life a little less difficult to digest.

Moment by moment,
day by day,
season by season.

And while we haven't ever had a child with Auggie's health challenges,
we do have children like him.
Children who face adversity.
Children whose families struggle.
Children whose lives really challenge them.
They deal with difficulties like 
which result in increased worry, anxiety, and stress.
And that's without a disability or syndrome to manage.
Imagine being taunted on top of that
for things you could do nothing about.
I couldn't catch my breath when Auggie was being teased.
I found myself frustrated, incensed even,
that the school didn't do more to intervene,
that Auggie had to suffer in silence.
And then I felt relieved that despite her own difficulties,
Auggie's sister stepped in to assure him that, no matter what,
they would always be each other's friend.
Because everyone wants to belong to someone.
No one wants to go it alone.

I'm so thankful for the friends who refused to judge Auggie at face value, 
those who looked deeper to see instead the gift his heart held.
And I'm glad that the school finally addressed the bullying behaviors and said out loud that it was not okay, that how we treat each other matters, 
that empathy, compassion and kindness matter.

Do you know which three traits that bully averters have in common? 
Self-regulation, optimism, and hope.
Sounds like Auggie and his friend Summer.
If you're weaving this novel into your curriculum,
author Trudy Lugwig has some awesome suggestions {here}.

Click the image to buy these stickers.

I left the movies this afternoon feeling Wonder-full
because, in the end, kindness came to the rescue.
It won.
Because when we choose kind, 
we'll always be right.

That might be why we're called human kind

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I really enjoy hearing from my readers; thanks for sharing your reflections with us!