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Dear you know who, (lessons from an 8th grader)

I'm sorry. I probably should have left it there. Maybe she (or he) would have found it. I doubt it, but you never know.


I have this habit - maybe it's good, maybe it's OCD - of picking up litter whenever I walk my dog. So, when I saw the paper on the side of the path stuck to the stick, I couldn't help myself. I didn't have my glasses, so I couldn't read most of what you wrote, but I could tell it wasn't something haphazardly tossed on the ground. That's why I picked it up and put it in my pocket.

When I got home, I read it and left it on the kitchen counter. I intended to take it back but kept putting it off. It seems pointless now. It's been months.


Again, my bad. Still, I don't regret finding your letter. Your from-the-heart words touched my heart.


Dear *******, 2-4-20

IDK why I'm writing this maybe I think this will help me open up to you (*****) This 2020 has already been pretty ass. It all started on Januarry 3rd. I still remember that day. I remember the first time we met in 7th grade. Ms (*****)'s math class. we didn't talk that whole year. I didn't think that much of u then. then 8th grade came and it Changed my life forever. I thought you were cute. I was always nerveuse because I sat next to you for the beginning of the year. I remember I could talk to you for hours and hours over text but not be able to say a single word to you in person. I'm sorry I love you and miss you. One day I hope you find this. This is a begga's idea and I really hope it works.

Love,

you know who


I know I'm not the one you hoped would find your letter, but I'm going to share my thoughts with you anyway.


Thought one: I was in 8th grade a half century ago. But I can clearly remember feeling the way you felt when you wrote this. The power of love. It just gobbles you up. I get it.


Thought two: You wrote your note in February - before sheltering in place. Now you're home, attending school virtually. I wonder if you're still texting. Whether you are or aren't, I bet you now appreciate the value of real, face-to-face interaction and connection. Maybe this was good for your generation to discover. Nothing - not texting, not Zooming - is a substitute for the real thing.


Thought three: Teachers, are you paying attention? Our students have concerns that have nothing to do with our class curriculum. While we're trying to interest them in math, English and science, their minds are on relationships, relationships and relationships. We need to teach with this in mind.


Thought four: Parents, are you paying attention? Do you know what your kids are thinking about? Anxious about? Probably much more than you thought. They may not reveal their soul to you, but be aware of its depth.


Thought five: Most kids aren't motivated to write. So, when I taught writing, I'd tell my students how powerful words can be. About how words can make others think and feel. About how far-reaching their their words can be. That they may never know how impactful they may be. Dear you know who, your words - never intended for me or anyone reading this post - made us think and feel.


Thank you.


Sincerely,

Someone who understands and cares

P.S. One day I hope you read this. This is a begga's idea, and I really hope it works.