Goosebumps

The librarian had laryngitis and I got goosebumps.

Twenty-five first graders were lined up in their classroom, ready for their weekly trip to the school library. They were looking at me expectantly to lead the way. So I set off. The wrong way down the hall.

“That’s the wrong way,” the little girl in the lead said in an appalled whisper, like I’d just peed in the corner.

“Which way is it?” I whispered back conspiratorially. “I don’t know where I’m going.” (Yes, I have navigation issues.)

That wise child led the way to the library, where we discovered that the librarian had laryngitis. Her plan was for the kids to watch a movie instead of reading aloud.

“I’ll read aloud,” I volunteered loudly, just as several other kids pointed at me and volunteered, “She’ll read aloud.”

I sat down in the big storyteller chair with 25 kids sitting at my feet.“Wow, there’s a lot of you,” I said. “I’m nervous.” I asked my son, squirming in the back row, if I looked okay. He said I did.

And then I started reading. I discovered that I LOVE reading to a classroom of children. I am a ROCK STAR at reading aloud to children. The book was beautiful (The Curious Garden, by Peter Brown). It gave me goosebumps. I showed the kids. “I don’t have a single goosebump,” one little girl assured me.

In a recent coach training, our instructor asked us to describe a time when we felt fulfilled, when we felt gloriously alive. As the other coaching students described the birth of children, caring for a dying parent, a son’s wedding, I thought about this little moment in the school library.

Since then, I’ve been thinking about how I want to be thoughtful of these small, free moments of being gloriously alive. That sense of fulfillment doesn’t require vacations in Hawaii or major life events. They can be — and are — the small, free moments of everyday.