Isn’t it interesting how something so simple can bring back a memory?
That’s what happened the other day when I took this picture of a Shagbark Hickory tree at the farm. Oh, how I love the gorgeous Winter-turning-to-Spring blue skies in East Tennessee!
I started wondering… Whatever happened to Adrian?
It was 1994, and the elementary students were given the assignment: Write a poem about a feeling.
Examples were given: love, joy…
… and the children began to write. All except Adrian. He wanted no part of that “mushy” stuff. No feeling poem for him!
At the time, Renaissance Man and I volunteered at our daughters’ school, and we happened to be there to witness Adrian’s rebellion firsthand.
Fortunately for Adrian’s grade, my natural-teacher husband saw (and understood!) the fourth grader’s hesitancy and walked over to “check out his progress.”
Renaissance Man: How’s it going, Adrian?
Adrian: I don’t wanna write about this stuff.
Renaissance Man: Write about TOUGH.
Renaissance Man: Sure. Haven’t you ever felt tough?
And the natural teacher moved along to another child…
After a short time, I watched as my husband walked back over to Adrian, stood behind the boy, and read over his shoulder. And then I saw a faint smile.
Adrian had written his poem about TOUGH… and for a little boy whose grades were less than ideal, he showed a lot of promise! How many times we’ve regretted not keeping a copy!
We only remember a few of his words, but they still give us hope—all these years later—that the little boy grew up well.
tree bark … T-bone steak … ocean waves
The following year our family moved away from Texas. Adrian (and Jamaal) was no longer part of our world, but in his place, Louisiana introduced us to Joey and Chris… and recently Tennessee has brought Travis into our lives.
In every state, city, town, and community, there is a child who needs encouragement. Perhaps it’s as simple as a smile at the grocery store—as part-time as volunteering at a school—or as full-time as becoming a foster parent or a safe family.
For many, many children, life is TOUGH. So I’ll ask you the same question I’m asking myself: Is there something more you can do to help?