Paying it Forward

When my fourth son was eleven he was a hellion. I was a solo Mum by then, working all the time – working. One day he was seen skateboarding down the hill from our house at speed, in the middle of the road, wearing my big black coat and carrying a petrol can –  while I was at work  – I had two jobs, single parent households often have one parent with two jobs.  He was asked to stay home from school on more than one occassion and I began to beat a weary track into the headmasters carpet.dawn-in-feb-002

He was on the road to trouble. Growing fast, hair long, often angry, often incredibly beautifully caring, the clearest blueist eyes but  shot with fury.


And he could not sit still.  Barely slept. Wild. Stunning.


He was saved by one of his teachers. To my shame I cannot remember her name but she saw the potential that my son had at eleven years old and had him transferred to her classroom.

In New Zealand the school kids bring their own lunch to school, there are no cafeterias in New Zealand Public Schools, every day unless it is raining hard, the kids eat their lunch outside, (if it is raining they eat in the hall) no matter the season, winter and summer in Hawkes Bay where the kids and I grew up, we ate outside then played sports until the bell.  One day in a snarly mood, after lunch,  my son said to this teacher that there was not enough shelter in the playground for the children to eat under. They were too exposed.

cows in snow

So, she said, I imagine her raising her eyebrows, why don’t you design something for shade then. So he did. He designed a beautiful big canvas roofline with poles to hold it up, it was to float like a sail but with five corners, He carefully drew the pictures, added the dimensions and with the encouragement of his teacher, called around town and got quotes for the job.  With all this in hand he wrote a proposal to the school to fund it. He was eleven years old remember. They said yes  – it was a good idea – then  this 11 year old proceeded to supervise the job.  And he and his friends and many many other kids got to sit in the shade to have their lunch from then on. He also won most improved prize at the end of that school year and this was not a small school.  His mother cried. He was proud. Pride is like rocket fuel to a kid – to know justifiable pride in his accomplishments. dawn-in-feb-045

He was the youngest kid ever to be accepted into the NZ film school. He is now a fast tracking producer for a film company in New Zealand that I am not allowed to name here but if you watch movies with little short guys and big feet you will have seen his work. (and the work of other  members of my family for that matter).

One person can change the course of a Whole life. If only they learn to say yes. Togerther,  Yes.  Yes we can.dawn-in-feb-050

One of my favourite sayings is simply that.  “Actually. I can.”

But kids get a hard time when their heads come up too high. My sister is a bully, I love her because she is my sister and bright and witty and talented and sharp but after spending only three days with her in New Zealand over a week ago I am still struggling  to blot out her barbed comments, trying to unhear some of the words she flicks out like little fires at your face. Always with a smile though. Always. She just knots me up, I could feel my shoulders hunching back into a teenage huddle as I spent time with her. My eye went to pieces. I ruined shots, second guessed myself, lost the light and  retreated to the kitchen in an apron. My Mother used to laugh that my sister was Mary and I was Martha. I loved Martha – she fed people.

Anyway.  I use her as an  example of  dream trampling.  Be careful: just because you do not have the same dreams does not mean you can tromp on mine.

Let’s get back to paying it forward.

My son’s teacher was not the kind of person who sent a kid cowering back into the corner. She allowed him to fly. dawn-in-feb-033


A friend came to me the other day (One of the Fellowship actually) and said there was a young lady living locally, eleven years old, who is simply amazing with animals. She watches and studies and catches ground squirrels and wild rabbits, follows snakes, tracks coyotes.  She is having a bit of trouble at school, there has been bullying and she and her family are working very hard at keeping her dreams afloat, my friend thought that this girl might benefit from visiting the farm once or twice a week after school.

I spoke to this girl on the phone the other day and she was bubbling with excitement,  cows she breathed, pigs she sighed – what else, what else is there? Can I pet them?  I have some special little pigs I said – they Have to be petted and brushed often.   I’ll do it, she said, I’ll do it!dawn-in-feb-048

So today she came to begin her training as a farm cadet. Look at her managing those dogs.  She has said Yes to everything.  She did not take one step back. This wee girl has fire. She is smart. She deserves wings. An may even be reading this today.

Coco Chanel once said “We are not born with wings so do nothing to impede their growth.”


Paying it forward. Thank you to the teacher who lifted my fourth son up into the air so he could unfurl his wings when I was so tired working two and sometimes three jobs that I could not.  Here is my chance to do  the same for our the new worker on my team.

I hope you have a lovely day.


89 Comments on “Paying it Forward

    • I’ve been teaching metalsmithing for the past two winters to a lovely young woman, our cousin Hannah, who started with me last year, when she was 15. I’ll never forget the worry in her father’s face as he described this older and undesirable “boy” who had put stars in her eyes, and who was hanging around too much. (“Sniffing around” I think his words were…) I told him: “Send her to me,” I’ll teach her how to solder and make great stuff. So each winter, she’s been coming around every Thursday and is now quite the accomplished metalsmith. She even landed herself a summer job making custom rings at a little gallery last summer. She made over 30 rings for people! What a neat kid! I am so proud of her!

  1. I see a fantastic new member on the farmy team there! I’m sure that she’ll love to help you with incubating/hatching chicks – lots of handling in that department!

  2. Eleven-year-old girl, no matter what grown ups tell you, growing up is not easy. Not easy at all. Find your place where you can shine. Find people who will help you. You will show them, and in the best way.

    Celi, you are Martha. You are SO Martha, but you are Mary, too, because you take wisdom wherever you find it. This small girl is so lucky to have you! If they ever visit down this way, point her in my direction. I’ve got little friends for her to meet!

  3. You’ll have everyone weeping over this one but I reckon it’s because we all share the same base-experiences at different times of our lives. We experience them when we need to so we can learn from them. I was a hellion as a kid and well into my 20s, completely off the rails and skidding, which is why I never fretted when my boys did a skid or two — it was their time to learn lessons. As an adult, we just have to be there for these kids and prop them back up and re-lace their shoes so they can keep going. So…. I’ll just say Good morning, c, and keep your shoes laced up. xx

  4. Your sister sounds like a clone of my mother, till a few days before she died… but we manage, somehow. I have similar story about my older son and a very caring, observant guidance counselor who saw his need in a new high school and without any fuss, got him involved in something that made a huge difference in the rest of his life. Sometimes it’s not the being diverted by working jobs and not having enough emotional time for our kids, it’s just not being able to help in a situation in which we are not present. School for so many kids is a minefield, and a parent can’t be right there with them to help. (Many times that’s a good thing, too!). So lovely that you have a new helper on the farm!

  5. Good for you Celi!! Yep I know exactly where you are coming from, doing three jobs to raise kids on your own, and being so exhausted you just want to crawl into a ball. I was a computer operator, a petrol pump attendant and worked bar at weekends! Looking back I really don’t know how I did it. But of course my kids suffered from not enough attention from me. Luckily my daughter turned out great, my son…… not so much and we will leave it at that.
    So glad this young girl has you in her life now!

  6. Wonderful! And what a proud mom too! I can recall maybe one or two teachers who had my back when I was in school (and none come to mind for my kids) but I do recall a few teachers who said I would amount to nothing. And I was never really a bad kid (ok, so I did drive the librarian nuts being lippy) and always made the honor roll. We remember who was in our corner and who wasn’t….

  7. Lovely. And how great to have someone to pay it forward to, a person you can watch being changed by the challenges and chances you’re offering. I think we’d all give a great deal to have a shot at Farmy life.

  8. Great post, lots of wise truth and yet another example of the miracle that is Celie. I wouldn’t have known what “paying it forward” meant had it not been for a coincidence: the dVerse Poets’ Pub had a post last night on that very subject ( ) and the resulting conversations in the bar were heartwarming and illuminating. Good luck to the new Farmy cadet. Who could fail to reach for the sky in your company?

  9. I’m in tears of course. Your blog should include a box of kleenex, like e a good therapist’s office. Right next to the couch (and the computer) please. I love this story.

  10. i thought that I was the only softy in this friendship, but reading previous posts I realize that we are all like sponges being squeezed, the tears are flowing as much as the gratitude in my heart…….If only the world was inhabited by people like you what a wonderful world it would be,. Not only a loving caring farmer-lady but a beautiful human being.
    It is my great priviledge to know such a person..thank you Celi from the bottom of my heart! ( where’s the damn tissue?)

  11. You know often when reading your blog I really regret not having children of my own, but then again I have to wonder if I would have the same wisdom! Good luck to our new Farm Cadet and the whole world of new opportunity that has just opened up for her. Bless you too. Laura

  12. No words can describe the emotions I am feeling after reading this. What an opportunity awaits this girl. From one who believes firmly in paying it forward — thank you.

  13. Oh boy. That story hit so very close to home. You have actually raised my son’s twin. Jonathan is the most beautiful, brilliant, kindhearted nightmare in the world. His eyes are so very chocolate brown that they are black. I used to say that if he’s alive to reach 30 yrs old, I will have succeeded. Well, at 30, he was in Japan and survived the earthquake and tsunami. Call that a grand finale Jon? I so very much hope so! Now that he’s approaching 35, he’s actually showing slight signs of settling down.
    I’m so glad you’ve taken this young girl to the farm. Many times I believe that happens round here with my homestay students. Most are over 15 yrs old, but still, first time abroad, first time on their own, in a foreign language, foreign customs, foods, rules, every day a new discipline to learn. Occasionally one has never used a toaster, or made a bed, or recycled a piece of paper. I hope that being with my family helps them become fuller adults more able to succeed in the world.

  14. We tell young people “hitch your wagon to a star.” I think this gifted & lucky young girl has just found one of the first magnitude to guide her.

  15. Sniffles here, but good sniffles. There are so many of these kids at my school, angry, pissed off at the world, mostly boys, but quite a few girls. If only we could help them find their wings. Thank you for helping this young girl, C. I hope I get to meet her. Years ago, there was a young, angry man who I took into the library. He got kicked out of PE for refusing to dress out and causing problems. He helped me pick out a recipe for cookies so we could make them for all the teachers at our school for the holidays. We used a kitchen on campus and he made the cookies himself with my help, bagged them and took them around to the teachers. He was proud of that. I sometimes wonder when happened to him. He told me that he wanted to be a chef. Beautiful story. So proud of your son. He found his niche! Tane and Tima have a new friend. Wonderful!

  16. You asked recently for our favorite post. This is my favorite. The history, the honesty and vulnerability, the kindness. Thank you for sharing it.
    As far as your sister is concerned you obviously feel the same as I do about mine. That some people are simply there to show us what we don’t want to be. You are beautiful and very talented and all of us as your readers are blessed.

  17. You, Miss C, are among an elite group I think…the best of the best who know what it means to be human, and humane and reach out and open the world to another. I had my own ‘teacher’ at one time, and hope that somehow I have touched at least one other searching individual at some point since that time long ago. Bravo, and thank you.

  18. Awe! What a lucky girl to be given this great opportunity. Thanks Mrs. C. for taking her under your wings!

  19. We all deserve wings. And dreams. And the courage to spread both.
    Eleven year olds as well as us mid-century types.

  20. Oh, dear C, tears are edging my eyes as I read this. What a gift that teacher gave your son. What a gift you are giving this fabulous young cadet. That we should all emulate you. You are making such a difference in this young girl’s life. Thank you for sharing this story which reminds all of us what a difference we can make.

  21. I could hardly see to finish this post. So many hard years summed up in a few paragraphs but you did it beautifully. She will soar! Bless you for seeing her potential and to whoever thought to call you : )

  22. I had a son like that, too…and he is now a proud papa himself and quite the career man. Amazing! With a bit of encouragement they do turn around. And you described my sister, too. I love her and we are very close, but man oh man she can throw out some zingers! I look forward to more lovely posts about the young girl. You are amazing!

  23. What a great post!! I can relate being a single Mom of five also. So glad that this young woman is coming to your farm to talk and play with your animals!

  24. As the mother of 3 kids–with the last one still at home (age 16)–I take such heart at your message. My youngest is the dreamer. He is artistic and changes “what I want to be when I grow up” every 6 months or so. Each one of his plans is more different than the last. His latest is that he wants to be a documentary film maker. Last summer he wanted to design a line of street wear/clothing. It’s SO hard to support and hold him up to spread his wings when it feels like his desires and dreams might send him crashing to earth. As a momma, I spend time thinking, “how will he make a living?” Your post reminds me that it is oh so important to listen and inspire. There’ll be enough people out there waiting to dash his dreams without his family adding to the pile.

  25. You have an amazing young lady under your wing now, I can tell by how the pups (even Boo) are working with her! Boo following her to gate looks like he is saying, come back SOON please… We have lots of sticks to explore!

    Teachers can be so amazing or so destroying. I had many who did not want to help me because I was a very SMART but SHY girl. My shyness translated to being dim, thus they passed me over. But in my 7th year, a Mrs Ford saw the light in me and she fought for me to be placed in advanced learning because I was making straight A’s but still being overlooked and under challenged. Because of her fighting for me, I moved up to 4th in my graduating class and another teacher who taught accounting – pushed me into an early college program my junior year -> which put me where I am today. Of my many many many instructors -> I can only count on one had the number who actually taught life lessons. And I am forever grateful to them.

    On a more ‘happy note’ – – – your first photo of dawn – – – I am envisioning Lockness lake and that post is the monsters head popping up!!!! 😉

  26. Paying it forward is such a beautiful act of kindness, we should all practice it in one form or another. Even if it just a smile or kind word.

  27. Thank you for sharing this story. When you work in a school, and I do, it is hard to believe you are having any affect… that anything you say or do can change the larger trajectory of a student’s life, much as you may see how desperately it’s needed. You have given me renewed hope. And I am sorry your sister is a bully. I see a lot of that as well. More all the time, actually, and it is devastating.

  28. Celi, this is the first thing I read this morning and I’m sitting here teary and so thankful for your article. I’ve always felt it takes a village to raise a child. Teachers, friends, neighbors, family members… I am so grateful for those generous souls that have and will always be in my children’s lives and those special people who made my childhood bearable. What a wonderful thing you are doing for that precious little girl! If I lived close by I’d come volunteer too! Love your little farmy. 🙂

  29. I AM having a lovely day, which just became so with this pitch perfect post. 🙂
    I think we can all find ways to pay it forward, be it in the small things of a kind word or the bigger things of lifting someone up, especially a child.
    An inspiring post, well told, and the impetus I needed just now to carry on. Much thanks.

  30. Well now… this may be my new “favorite” post. There are so many young people who flourish when their gifts and talents are noticed – when we’re not so busy being adults in a world where chaos is the norm. What an inspiration this post is, Celi. Thank you for the boost of positive energy!! It moved the earth… way down South!! 🙂

  31. Beautiful images and even more beautiful text. Does your sister read your blog? If so, I applaud your ability to be forthright with one another 🙂 Good on you for making space for this girl. May she and you thrive.

  32. An eleven-year-old who is wonderful with animals is already well on the way to many good things.. Animals can always tell who is good and who is not.
    I am puzzled why you can’t mention Weta?
    Also, your sister needs a slap! I understand bullies are cowards, but someone needs to tell her to pull her horns in!

  33. Thank you for sharing such s personal, beautiful story Celi. And what a lovely thing to do for that young girl. It’s really disgusting that bullying is so strong in this day and age. One would think that with all the unmanageable hurt and sadness that’s hsppening in the world today, people would be more compassionate. Shame on them all.

  34. Sadly, we don’t get to choose our family. (And my family didn’t choose me, either.)
    What we do get to choose are friends. Just consider the quality of the Fellowship who are attracted to you.

  35. I am a great believer in paying it forward. Thank you Celi for this uplifting post. It arrives as I am reeling from the news of a son of a childhood friend and neighbour. The young 40 year old was found dead in his home on Sunday – at this stage it has become a murder enquiry. Now I am going back to the top to enjoy the photos and the chance this young lady has with you.

  36. Wild boys always have the most potential! I had remind myself of that throughout Brandon’s childhood and my many trips to the see the teacher after school. I hope we get to hear all about your new team member. You two are going to be wonderful for each other.

    It’s unfortunate that your sister doesn’t see your heart like we do. What a loss she’s experiencing not knowing the beautiful person that is you. Every single day that I read your blog, I am blessed. But today was extra special.

    ~ xoxo April

  37. Truer words were never spoken about wings. Wonderful story all the way around and looks like a happy ending this day…or beginning as the case may be!

  38. I have a wonderful son; my one and only who had that anger and restlessness; bright, funny, but angry, and he pulled out of it too; I was also thrown out of high school 3 times and that was in the early 50s; each generation works stuff out; I’m happy for you, all the farm animals, your family, the pigs, oh the pigs and the little girl; siblings or anyone’s sharp tongue kills. “A kindly tongueis the lodestone of the human heart.” You write so wonderfully; I’ve just moved; husband died end of nov and I’m okay because we had such a packed life and he was wonderful. Landlord’s car burned up, taking mine with it; various medical questions of my own, and just moved into a friend’s house; we’ve known each other for 52 years; I’d be up a creek without a paddle if not, and she asked me. The world is so vulnerable but filled with wondrous people and animals. love to you and all, esther

  39. the other day you asked for our favourite blog and I couldn’t decide, so many have been so lovely, thought provoking, sad, happy etc. BUT THIS ONE, THIS JUST HAS TO BE INCLUDED. It’s awesome. Thank you Celi for sharing this. Looking at the other comments I guess a few people might think so too?

  40. This made me cry. My cousin who came to live near me with her two daughters is struggling. The girls are both a problem but one is on a fast track to hell and social services will not/cannot help – we are all trying to encourage and step in where we can but the girl seems intent on self destruction and is only 14. I wish she could connect with someone who could light that spark in her to get her back on track to what could be a wonderful and happy life. We have not and will not give up hoping and trying.

    • Maybe your niece can just read this post … Children are so sensitive … Much more than grown ups … She will quickly see that the world has beauty too apart from whatever horror it is offering her gentle soul … And that may give her hope and courage to fly out to the rainbow.

      Aunts are special people. I have several. And they can often reach that part of children where parents are not allowed – by virtue of being a parent! You have a real chance of being her friend … For nieces know that sometimes an older friend is what they really need … Someone with experience and yet, on their side … They may never acknowledge this, but they know. Don’t let yours down …

  41. I am touched on so many levels by this post. One of your very best since I have been reading it. Thank you for sharing your heart and for making it big enough to have room for a young girl who needs a safe place to land as she develops her wings.
    What is the Fellowship?

  42. I have a older sister like that. Here we are in our fifties and she can still do exactly that to me. Withering. However a mother’s pride is powerful, she tries to do it to my son, she can cut me down all she likes, but never my boy.
    Those early adolescent years make young souls so vulnerable, how wonderful you are able to share your animals and lifestyle this way especially with all the wisdom that comes with having raised your own children to success. I hope all goes well for her, you are certainly giving her a wonderful chance to take her life with both hands and make it her own. Well done you.

  43. Wow… the power of words. My eyes were taking in the visual of the Farmy photos as the words impacted on my heart. My eyes started to leak and the photos got blurry… Good on you for speaking and sharing your truth. It touched us all in various ways. Over Christmas we spent extra and solo time with the G.O.’s 11 year old granddaughter, who was a delight and I can only imagine you will enjoy this 11 year old’s company and perspective just as much, and she yours.
    I’m currently writing a story about a couple who many many years ago befriended the teenage G.O… hellion… what a great word! Parents do the best they can but sometimes can’t do it all, and kids anyway need supplementary people & environments to become rounded… sometimes I think people’s sharp edges occur when this doesn’t happen…
    Speaking of which, your words ‘like fires flicked out” and the encounter aptly describe similar with a family member over the weekend, which I’ve been struggling to understand or let go of, but now I can see clearly. I felt hurt but sorry for her for being like that. A good lesson to us all.
    I think you’ve gone beyond “Actually. I can.”… to “Actually. I do.” and “Actually. I am.” 🙂

  44. C what a beautiful and amazing story this is and what a beautiful and amazing gift you are giving this young girl.
    Your mean sister is just that..mean and clearly jealous of you because she can never be what you are! And she knows it!
    You are a treasure Cinders!

  45. I am crying. Sorry. I wish you lived where I grew-up! I wish I had a teacher who saw. For you see I was the one bullied. Terribly so. And sadly the worst bully was my Mom’s best friend and her oldest daughter. School was a nightmare untold and so was best friend’s visits to each other homes.

    I’ve deleted so many sentences that I wanted to write here. I’ve said enough. I don’t know how to really say more.

    Linda ❤⊱彡

  46. Thank you so much for this post. I’ve not been blogging or reading blogs for a few months, so it was wonderful to come back and read this. You will make such a difference to this girl’s life. It made me cry, and reminded me of why I so love being a primary school teacher. It’s all about the relationships we can build.

  47. What a wonderful story about your son and the teacher who could see him as something other than trouble. Bless you for paying it forward to this girl.

  48. LOVE this post. Thank-you for sharing, and seeing the possibilities that spark with encouragement!

  49. Oh My, this blog post needs to be on everyone’s walls. Dream trampling should never be done. Just because you may not understand someone else dream or someones else passion, doesn’t mean it’s nothing. Great story

    And please don’t forget to complete my Reader Survey.

  50. Methinks all our coffee and tea this morning is somewhat diluted with tears . . .very good tears for wonderful vibes past and present . . . I hope the lass who knows how to ‘talk with the animals’ realizes she is part of the story . . . and all of us do care what happens next . . .

  51. Only those who have flown and felt the wind – even to the point of having to seek shelter to avoid shredding – can understand wings. (and in turn recognize the fledglings. Great teachers, those)
    You soar, Ci. Understanding well, the crashing and burning – and the necessity of getting up…And above all, the responsibility of opening the window for others.
    Farmers sow many seeds – and with luck get to see things blossom and grow tall.
    Lovely. Yes. You,son, his teacher, and this new little one.

  52. Beautiful story, I am in tears reading it,? And I bet your son remembers that teachers name. So beautiful that you are now offering a young person a chance to fly (your son and his teacher are smiling, I can feel it)

  53. When you look back, do not be too hard on yourself, thinking that you missed doing the right thing for your son. You, like countless other mothers and fathers, single or not, did everything you could. However your love for your child, and his for you, prevented the connection that needed to be made, your closeness made you the wrong person for that job. It’s strange but true, sometimes someone else has to step in and be the one who opens up the opportunities, who helps the dream float, who provides the safety net that initiates the change. Recognizing that someone (the teacher) was providing that connection and allowing it to progress was exactly what you needed to do. Sadly, not all parents can recognize that and some children don’t get that connection.

    Miss Farm Cadet is in good hands, I’m sure we all look forward to hearing about the connections she forges with you and the animals. Perhaps if she has a scientific bent she would enjoy making yoghurt or cheese or soap?

    And as for your sister, perhaps taking a deep breath and blowing her a kiss every time she throws a dart at you will help you let things go? The son of a friend of mine has a bumper sticker that says “Your dog is the only relative you can choose”. He told me he chose it specifically for his dad. Ouch, but true.

    Chris S in Canada

  54. I have been really short of energy lately, and so have not gotten to read all the blog posts in a timely manner. But this… this one I am so glad I didn’t miss. It brought tears to my eyes. I have bullies in my family, too, and I have moved to the other side of the world from them so that I could grow my wings. A few years ago when I had breast cancer, I took stock. I realised I have done everything I have wanted to do, and that includes be a good human being. No regrets. I’m so sorry you have a bully sister. Bleah, to bullies!! Hurray for you, helping a young girl grow her wings. xxxx

  55. Beautiful. Thank you. And a hug to the young lady. Please tell her “anyone who is loved by animals can only be good. They are smart. Never mind what people do to hurt you. Just believe in the animals and birds and other critters.” Love your posts C. I do hope to be able to pay it forward some day … The pleasure your posts give me …

  56. Miss C. The next time you communicate with your fiery son, please tell him that he and his comrades of the big, furry feet saved my life. When the first movie of the trilogy came out, it was the only thing that soothed me that winter. Horrible, long, endless depression that eventually did put me in the hospital in April. But going to that movie was a safe haven for me all winter. A few hours in the dark, with my “friends”, gave me a break from the twisted thinking and hopelessness. It was therapy. And it kept me going. Please thank him for me

  57. Great pictures of snow today, especially the first two! It’s wonderful that you had a farm cadet position available 😉

  58. Tears and smiles for all of what you have written here but mostly for your wisdom and kindness. You are an extraordinary person.

  59. This could have been written from my heart. Thank you Miss C. I don’t get bothered by the judgement of strangers but when it comes from someone I know I always second guess myself and revert to the safety of proven waters. But then I find or am sent a kindred spirit like you and my dreams soar again.

  60. My child though I never knew him had his family mine deep inside just waiting to reduce him with the Arts. Bless your sons teacher and now you. We can make a huge difference in others lives we just have to Do It xo

  61. OMG your son is famous. I love that film! My daughter was the wild one of my two, and I started out a single parent. Was always so glad when a teacher saw the good in her. She’s not a famous film producer, but she’s turned out a kind and caring person, who’s a great individualist and a wonderful mother to two children of her own.

  62. Two days of thinking and rereading this post. As we pass through this world we have no idea who and how much we may have touched somebody. Rescued some one from the dark depths of despair. My beautiful intelligent daughter was bullied in grade school because she was different. A teacher made the difference and literally over night NO ONE could touch ever again.

  63. Thank you for this. I teach 11-12 year olds and read your post before work yesterday and started crying. I really needed to hear those words.

  64. What a moving story. I’m so glad for your son, that he had that help, and now for the girl you are helping. Put young people together with their passion, and off they go.

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