Here’s a poem written by our 7-year-old daughter. She thought about it for a couple of days, drafting it late into the night on her magna-doodle board, developing illustrations. She finally put it all to paper and told me it was for her principal at school.
Sea turtle, sea turtle, in the deep blue sea,
I can’t believe you’re just like me.
I’m so lucky, that I can see.
She had overheard me tell my husband that the principal is pretty excited about the school’s new mascot: the sea turtle. She found a copy of one of her favorite books (handed down by her cousins), and told me she wanted to give it to her principal, too.
Limu the Blue Turtle demonstrates that it doesn’t matter how you look, it matters what you do. Mean green turtles teased Limu because he was blue, so he made his own friends, who looked nothing like him, and with whom he had nothing in common. But he did right by them. He reunited an opihi shellfish with her sister and removed a piece of wood from a blue whale’s fin. In the end, the opihi offered Limu a place to live, and the whale saved Limu from a shark attack. It’s adorable.
She wanted to give it to her principal, but she noted that it had “scribble scrabbles in it.” (Some coloring on the inside of the cover, nothing major.) So, we got a new copy of the book for him. We went to the school this morning and dropped it off, along with a quiche for the PTA’s welcome-back-teachers breakfast. The kids and I went to the principal’s office, and she presented the book and her poem.
The principal stopped what he was doing and read the whole story to the three of us and the Assistant Principal. He was visibly touched, and said he’d share the poem and the book with the teachers because, “The students are just like those sea turtles, heading out on their own, relying on their own character, finding their way, and overcoming obstacles.”
Our girl was so proud.
She knows now, that she is a poet. She knows now, that when she thinks, and speaks, and shares, she has an impact.
Here’s to the new school year!