Happy, Happy


I don’t know how many remember my library update post that talked about the 5th graders who like to tease me with annoying songs. Pink Fluffy Unicorns Dancing on Rainbows was a popular one for a while.

Aren’t you so glad I refreshed your memory? You’re welcome!

A couple of weeks ago I was shopping for Valentine decorations at Michael’s when I rounded the checkout line and I saw many pink fluffy unicorns. I weighed the price of a small, stuffed unicorn against the joy in torturing 5th graders with my dorktitude for all of 2 seconds before I tossed that doe-eyed horse into my cart next to the glittered hearts. Then I rushed home so I could gloat on instagram. One student, a boy, conceded the girls were going to flip, but that the unicorn needed a stage and a rainbow. I said, sure, every unicorn needs a rainbow and stage! Sadly, I don’t have that kind of time. I told him he was more than welcome to make one. I didn’t think about it again until the next week.

How awesome is this kid? I was so proud and told him so at least a million times. I just love it and it’s now on display where it’s the first thing people see when they walk into the library.

I’m so lucky to volunteer in the library. I love it so, so much. I love the kids, I love the books, I love the environment. I love that I leave my door open all the time and now the older girls come and visit me during recess. I love that they trust me enough to tell me about their crushes, frenemies, worries about grades. (“But don’t say anything Mrs. Kendall because I will just die if he finds out!”) I love that all they want are hugs and more hugs.* I love the way the younger ones get so excited when they find a book they like and how you can hear a pin drop when I read to them. I love my fancy rainbow loom ring, the pictures I get every week, and painstakingly wrapping books in clear contact paper so they’ll last longer. Seriously, I do. Methodical, brainless-but-detailed tasks are perfect for minds that don’t know how to slow down.

I especially love that while I wrapped a book under the watchful eye of a 5th grader she said, “Wow. You, like, really really care about this library and us so much. Crazy.”

She’s right on both counts.

*I only hug the girls in 5th-7th grade, but not because I think older boys don’t need hugs. On the contrary, I think they need twice as many hugs! I just don’t feel comfortable showing physical affection unless I really know the parents and they know I’m not some crazy pedobear out to destroy lives. I wrote about this some more on Facebook this morning, but let’s just say that, like Erin says in the comments, I give good side squeezes. :)

Jules Kendall writes about books, family, and easygoing simplicity.


  1. Susan G says

    Such a wonderful post. I volunteered at Rachel’s school 5th-8th grades teaching an art class once a week. Being around all those great kids (and all those hugs) was so amazing! Sniff sniff. Your post made me miss that. A lot. Glad you are having that experience – and they are so lucky to have someone who cares as much as you do.

  2. says

    I have vivid memories of my elementary school librarian. She read “The Twits” to us, using different voices, and we were spellbound. She was wacky and out there and we loved her.

    Love reading this!

  3. Erin says

    I love that you love it & the kids can clearly see that. So valuable for them! It makes me sad that you feel you have to avoid hugging the boys. I’m a middle school teacher and I don’t hesitate to hug boys if they’re asking/open to it…you’re right that they need it. Middle school is not a time when kids feel enough love, from themselves or others!

    I HAVE perfected the side-arm squeeze, however 😉

    • says

      It’s sad, right? Hugs are now suspicious. Sigh. Thanks, lunatic female teachers with issues you decide to take out on children.

      I’m a master at the side squeeze now, too! :)

  4. says

    I needed a reminder about that ear worm like I needed a hole in the head. It took WEEKS to get it out of my head last time.

    But if that’s the cost of hearing all about your library experiences, I’ll pay it. I would have loved to have someone like you as a librarian growing up.

  5. says

    I had not heard that song before…so thank you for that. I guess if I need to annoy the crap out of my two nephews, I’m busting this one out. I owe them big time after they got “What the Fox Say?” stuck in my head for a week straight. :-)

    That kid is a genius. It’s great to know there are great people out there who encourage kids to use their imaginations and have fun!

  6. says

    I TOTALLY posted that video on my Facebook feed. I hadn’t heard it. Benefit of homeschooling, I suppose. But now I am sharing with everyone because I love giving other people ear worms.

    So glad you love your job. Your joy in it shines in every post. I wish everyone could be that happy in their work!

  7. Kim from Philadelphia says

    As a lifelong nerd and a bookish child, I spend my happiest times in our school library. I adored our librarian, who recognized my love affair with books. I felt oh so special when she allowed me to take home 4 books a week instead of one! Three times a week, in 7th and 8 th grades, I chose to clean the library instead of going to recess ( which, in our Catholic school, was quite boring)

    I mention this because I totally get what you are saying about your love if the library, the kids, and the interactions you share with them. They are lucky to have you there, Jules!

  8. Jaimie says

    I find it strange that it’s okay to hug the girls but not the boys. Not to be disgusting, but you could be a pedophile targeting girls just as easily as boys. Why not have a policy that’s either hugs for all, or for none?

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