Gloria often goes home with a child on the weekend. She has a bag, a quilt, and a journal. She is ready for anything, from graduations to soccer games, to holiday celebrations. It didn’t used to be that way, until Colin asked many years ago if she could have a sleepover at his house. “Don’t worry, Jennie. I have a night light. She won’t be scared” were his exact words. Since then, Gloria has been welcomed with open arms by children and their families.
Last weekend she joined McKinley and her family on their annual family hike to Hedgehog Mountain in New Hampshire.
While the hike was beautiful and adventurous, it’s the story of love and friendship that shines through, loud and clear. A picture is worth a thousand words.
A journal entry is even better. It puts words and pictures together.
“Gloria visited our family and took a trip to NH to see my Grammy and Papa. We also took Gloria with us on our annual family hike up MT Hedgehog. After the hike to the top we looked at autumn leaves, took pictures, and even ate cupcakes! Gloria had a great time meeting my aunts, uncles, and cousins. We can’t wait for Gloria to visit again.
It’s one thing for the child to ‘get it’ and understand who Gloria is. It’s another thing for the parents to ‘get it’ and embrace it, and accept Gloria into their family. They are doing wonders for their child. I learned many years ago that a teacher must include and educate the family in order to teach the child. When families take the time to put Gloria on top of a mountain and take a photo, my heart spills over, because I know I have been a real teacher.
Gloria’s journals are in her bag, available for children to read anytime – like the books on our bookshelf. Former Aqua Roomers still want to read her journals. It’s wonderful.
On a side note, McKinley is the younger sister of Jackson. He was the subject of my favorite blog post years ago, “The Boy Who Cried Tears of the Heart.” It still makes my heart pound. Big time.