Friends Forever

Something I want to hold from this crazy pandemic time will be the people. I’ve said it before and I will say it again, the bright spots are the people.

Just this week, during distance learning, one of my students, *Bluebird, shared that her family was fostering two puppies. “My mom will bring them up after the break…they’re napping.” This isn’t the first time this year that Bluebird’s family has fostered puppies. We love a good puppy break in first grade, another highlight of virtual learning.

Sure enough, after break, we got to meet Zoe and Jonie, rescued sisters. Part lab…part chihuahua… Bluebird and her mom shared. “They’re all yours!” mom joked with me.

“I already have two dogs,” I laughed. “But when our family is ready for a new pup someday, I know who to come to. So, Bluebird, when I call you in a few years, you’ll know I’m ready for a puppy.”

“Oh, Ms. Carey,” Bluebird giggled, “we’ll always be friends.”

I sure hope so. This family has been a bright spot for sure. Little do they know that their kindness was one of the major factors that kept me from quitting, when it all felt too hard. Mom’s emails seemed to come at just the right moments, expressing gratitude and kindness. Bluebird’s joy on screen filled me with happiness, even on the roughest day. When it all felt too heavy, I thought of Bluebird and her family. I could do it for people like them.

*I borrowed this alternate name from this student’s realistic fiction writing this week. Her main character was Bluebird and her best friend was Cardinal.

11 thoughts on “Friends Forever

  1. The kind words of a few people have buoyed me up this year – well, that and my writing buddies, of course. Still, when you write, “When it all felt too heavy, I thought of Bluebird and her family” – I know this feeling. Those parents who write at just the right moment, those kids whose genuine pleasure shines through any medium, they make a huge difference. Somehow, I’m not surprised that they foster puppies. (But I am surprised at a Lab/Chihuahua mix – that’s… unusual!)


  2. I love how your started with such firmness and conviction- I’ve said it before and I will say it again. Yes, yes. People and the way they’ve banded together buoyed me, too, and I hope that silver lining is what remains. Bluebird, so sweet.


  3. Those kind emails from families are so meaningful during this difficult year. I just finished a realistic fiction unit with my 2nd graders. The names they come up with for their characters are great!


  4. I have felt this way too at times this year. It’s sometimes uncanny how the comments come at a time when you most need it. Bluebird and I are both glad you didn’t quit. It has been a year when so many people were bent to just about the breaking point. By the way, I finished The Sun Does Shine yesterday. Thank you so much for that recommendation. I started Punching the Air today…WOW.


    1. I’m really glad I didn’t quit too. What a year though. Thank goodness for good people! I’m glad you enjoyed The Sun Does Shine. I still think of it daily. I really liked Punching the Air as well. They make you want to do something, live differently. I’m reading this one now, Caste: The Origins of Our Discontent. They’re all connected. It’s nonfiction.


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