Gloria and Lucca, ‘Livin’ the Dream’

Everybody loves Gloria!

Gloria’s social life and adventures with children are a natural result of what happens when good friends connect.  Children beg to take Gloria home for the weekend.  Her journal is packed with wonderful stories and photos of her adventures with children.  Sometimes it’s a cozy stay at home, and sometimes it’s an all out event- like a high school graduation or a ball game or a trip to Santa’s Village.  Parents are as excited to record their child’s adventures with Gloria, as children are to have Gloria for a weekend.  Everyone should have a BFF who is as kind and fun as Gloria.

Her last big adventure of the year was in Chatham, Massachusetts with Lucca.  Her journal entry is titled:

Gloria and Lucca Livin’ the Dream in Chatham, MA.


It reads:

“We had an absolute blast over the weekend with Gloria!  Mama and I went to visit Ammy and Papa down The Cape in Chatham, MA + it was so much fun!  Gloria sat next to me the whole car ride + I chatted with her quite a bit about everything from if she was cold or not + the fact that she doesn’t like bugs.  We also listened to Bruce Springsteen the entire way + discovered that “The Rising” is apparently Gloria’s favorite song – Who Knew?!?  We decided to surprise Ammy + Papa with Gloria as our guest – surprised they were, but as always, they welcomed her with open arms.  At first I thought I wanted Gloria to sleep in bed with me, but decided to set her up on the nicely cushioned window seat close to my bed, which overlooks the ocean so she would have a nice view to wake up to – she was very happy about it.

On Saturday, I walked Gloria around the inside + outside of the house + let her relax for a bit during breakfast.  I was also super excited to introduce her to my Auntie Holly + Auntie Holly was delighted to meet her!  Gloria also came with us to see the Herring Run in Brewster, MA, which is quite a uniquely thrilling event since it only occurs for a small window of time.  She jumped right in with the fish – just kidding!  Ammy, Papa, Mama + I went, but Gloria said she just wanted to take a nap and enjoy the comforts of her weekend surroundings.  We were going to take her with us for a drive in Papa and Ammy’s new Mustang convertible with the top down, but she was afraid that her hat would blow away.  Oh Gloria!

On Sunday, Gloria got to meet Ammy’s good friend, Mary Ann, who was so sweet to Gloria, just as she is to me.  Then, Ammy, Papa, Mama, Gloria + I were lucky enough to take a lovely walk down to the beach before the rain started.  Gloria could not have been happier riding in the wagon on the way to the beach and feeling the wind in her hair from the strong ocean breeze.  I just loved getting to hug her + keep her warm while we took everything in around us.


It was incredibly meaningful to me to be able to share this special place on Earth, (Chatham, MA) with my Dear Friend, Gloria.  This is my second home, so I hope that Gloria felt right at home being there because we all enjoyed every minute with her + look forward to another visit soon.

Love + Happiness Always, Lucca”


About Jennie

I have been teaching preschool for over thirty years. This is my passion. I believe that children have a voice, and that is the catalyst to enhance or even change the learning experience. Emergent curriculum opens young minds. It's the little things that happen in the classroom that are most important and exciting. That's what I write about. I am highlighted in the the new edition of Jim Trelease's bestselling book, "The Read-Aloud Handbook" because of my reading to children. My class has designed quilts that hang as permanent displays at both the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, and the Fisher House at the Boston VA Hospital.
This entry was posted in behavior, Diversity, Early Education, Expressing words and feelings, Family, Giving, Gloria, Imagination, Inspiration, Kindness, Teaching young children, wonder and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

50 Responses to Gloria and Lucca, ‘Livin’ the Dream’

  1. Opher says:

    Gloria looks mighty popular!!

    • Jennie says:

      Indeed she is! Children accept her even though she is ‘different’. A genuine way to teach kindness and understanding. Here is a typical moment:
      “Jennie, Gloria is on the floor.”
      “Is she okay? Does she need an ice pack?”
      “I think she needs one.”
      Then I get an ice pack and the child sits on the couch with Gloria, soothing her. Isn’t that wonderful?

  2. Gennie, this is the most adorable post. What a lovely idea too.
    Actually, I’m amazed that Gloria makes it back to you every time. (That says a lot for your teaching!) I was just thinking about how every time I loan something, I never see it again. I’m glad Gloria’s weekend adventures continue! Hugs.

    • Jennie says:

      Thanks, Teagan. So far, no lost Gloria. I think it’s because she is so real to the children. A person, you know. She is the one who teaches kindness and acceptance, as she looks ‘different’.

  3. beetleypete says:

    Delightful indeed. Gloria brings out the very best in those little ones.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  4. John Fioravanti says:

    Wow! I am so impressed by your creativity and innovative practices in your classroom, Jennie. Gloria is a boon to these children and I scratch my head knowing I’d have never thought to do that in your place. Bravo!

    • Jennie says:

      Thank you, John. You should see the first day she appears in my class every year. She is shy and explains that she is NOT a witch, she just looks different and likes to wear black. That is a great step toward acceptance and developing kindness for children. Within a few weeks she is truly a person. She needs lots of help, and the children are eager to be there for her. She’s a gem!

  5. Annika Perry says:

    Just wonderful, Jennie! What a brilliant report of Gloria’s adventures and written with such joy and spirit. My son at primary school had weekend visits with their teddy bear! We had lots of fun although baking was a bit stressful as I thought I’d have to put the poor bear in the wash afterwards, he was so keen on tasting the mixture! It was always interesting to read about the other visits as well.

    • Jennie says:

      Thank you, Annika. I love the teddy bear and journal, too! Sounds like the baking was lots of fun- good thing you didn’t have to wash the bear!

  6. Ritu says:

    This is so lovely!!!

  7. Darlene says:

    Sounds like Gloria had a wonderful adventure!! I’m so happy for her and glad she didn’t get wet in the rain.

  8. Dan Antion says:

    It sounds like Gloria had a wonderful weekend. I like that you can (and do) trust the children with Gloria and that she gets to go on so many adventures. Thanks fro sharing, Jennie.

    • Jennie says:

      She definitely had a wonderful weekend. I’m glad you said the big word- TRUST. Because Gloria is a real person to the children, that trust is enormous. And children rise to the occasion. They’re empowered. This is a big deal. Gloria has never been lost or forgotten, quite the opposite. Thank you, Dan.

  9. robbiecheadle says:

    How wonderful for the children, Jennie, to have a fun companion like Gloria. It sounds like a wonderful time was had by Lucca and Gloria on this trip.

    • Jennie says:

      Thank you, Robbie. Gloria is a gem. She’s a close friend, and because she is different, children are accepting and also protective. When we read about Ma not liking Indians in Little House on the Prairie, the children connected Gloria and understood the bigger picture of diversity.

  10. delphini510 says:

    I love your idea of creating Gloria as a friend to all the children. Visiting them in turns and
    having adventures. It connects the children and encourages their creativity through fun
    activities and sharing.

  11. What a wonderful experience for the children and you! Gloria sure is livin the high life! 😀

  12. Such a heartwarming story, Jennie.

  13. Oh how I do enjoy your Gloria stories…perhaps she would accept my personal invitation to be my guest at an undetermined future Virtual Brownie Sharing Circle at her leisure? Please think about it.

  14. Norah says:

    What a wonderful adventure for Gloria. I’m pleased she gets out of the classroom sometimes. 🙂 How wonderful it is for children to take their best friend class mascots home with them to share their lives. It makes for great discussions and provides endless opportunities for writing.

  15. So cute, Jennie. I laughed when Gloria needed a nap. That would be me, too. A wonderful adventurous visit to Chatham with Lucca. 🙂

  16. frenchc1955 says:

    Jennie, this is wonderful!

  17. dgkaye says:

    So beautiful Jennie. It’s wonderful that the children get to take turns sharing Gloria and have their own good friend to confide in. Everyone needs a Gloria! 🙂 x

  18. Looks like Gloria had a lovely time in Chatham! 🙂

  19. I had no idea Gloria went for home visits. A child’s imagination is a precious thing indeed. You do so much to nurture it and it makes me so happy to see it in action. What a delightful record of Gloria’s visits. There is another book here, you know!

    • Jennie says:

      The first time Gloria went for a home visit, I was sitting in the children’s bathroom with a boy. He looked serious and asked me if Gloria had ever had a sleepover. I said no and I wasn’t sure she wanted to do that. His reply, “Don’t worry, I’ll ask Gloria. And she won’t be scared.” That was the same child who said that Peace made him feel “heart-y”. So, that was the beginning of sleepovers and weekends. She has been to a high school graduation, a play performance in Boston, a basketball game, sledding, helping to decorate a Christmas tree… a long and wonderful list of weekends recorded in her journal. Thank you, Marlene. I know that Gloria makes a huge difference and an impact on children. Maybe another book…

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