My first post was #pb10for10 list about Relationships. Relationships foster, nurture, and hold together communities. I recently read I Love My Purse by Belle DeMont and illustrated by Sonja Wimmer as a #classroombookaday selection. I read it to foster differences. I read it to break gender stereotypes. I read it without realizing I would ponder this story for so much more after sharing it with students.
Maybe it was the multiple reads that let me think deeper about this story. Maybe it was reading it slower in front of others. Maybe it was searching for a nugget to share in this space that led me to more pondering. I truly think it might be the message my student’s discovered about this book that I didn’t see with a quick read.
We and/or maybe just I often think about communities as groups of people I spend time with at some sort of interval. I think about communities as a group that comes together for a cause, reason, or sliver of goodness. I Love My Purse helped me see a community might be the same people you see every day on the path of your own day’s agenda. Charlie begins his day with his dad, his friend Charlotte, Sam, a crossing guard, and Dad ends his day. We might just call this Charlie’s daily connection community.
Each person questions Charlie’s purse wearing and each time Charlie answers, “Cause I want to.” I love this response. It’s truly all that is needed. Eventually Charlie learns something about something each person wish they did and were hesitant to do. Charlie takes his purse to school for another day and discovers his daily connection community is trying something small they’ve always wanted to do. By Friday, his daily connection community is all on board with each of their wishes – embracing their hopes.
I think I pondered this book for longer than anticipated because it really shows how one person thinking for themselves can empower others to be brave and embrace their own wishes and individuality. Charlie’s daily connection community has forever been changed. I think what I discovered in my further pondering is how this story is about the unexpected community and how one person offers connection.
I recently had the pleasure of seeing Sir Elton John on tour and on the last page of this story, Charlie is looking a little “Sir Elton John-ish.” May we all experience some of these words from “Sir Elton John.”
There’s an extraordinary healing power of compassion and love between people. Sir Elton John