Words of Wisdom, 9/26/08

I was listening to a song the other day that first became popular when I was a junior in high school. It was written by Peter Yarrow, one of the trio of Peter, Paul and Mary. The song has become a classic. It’s called, “Puff the Magic Dragon.” There have been various interpretations of the song, but according to its author, it is only about the passage of children into adulthood and the leaving behind of childish things. In other words, it’s about the middle school experience.

Frankly, I can’t hear this song without getting a little bit choked up. I have seen my own two children leave their childhoods behind, replacing them with their own version of adulthood and responsibility. I have seen hundreds of students begin to transition themselves in mine and other classrooms. I have seen those same students years later come back to visit me as adults.

What does, “Puff” have to teach us? The fact that I am touched, 45 years after I first heard the song tells me that it is speaking to the universal experience of growing up and helping others do the same. It also tells me how important it is to keep in touch with those things that touched me as a child. Friendships that you have now at Churchville-Chili Middle School will be available to you the rest of your life. You do not have to choose between the, “painted winds and giant’s rings,” and the things you’ll love as an adult.

Remember to live today as if toy are going to treasure it for the rest of your life, because, if you take the time to do it right, you will.