As he was leaving I told Mason that he might not need his hoodie, since it will be warm. Mason responded “I like my hoodie” pulling it down around his shoulders a bit aggressively and sticking out his chest. I helped him on with his too heavy back-pack and pulled the hood over his face while I was back there.
“Don’t mess with my hoodie” Mason said. “You don’t want my hoodie angry” he said as he looked over his shoulder on the way out. He was brimming with confidence in both his size and sense of humor.
I tell you this because I finished reading Ernest Gaines’ A lesson Before Dying and am a bit emotional. The story of the novel, briefly, is this:
Grant a college educated small town Louisiana teacher in the mid 1940s is asked to teach Jefferson, an unjustly convicted unlettered poor man, to restore his dignity. The plot shows the layers of oppression on the characters, and it is when Grant listens and hears Jefferson, that the latter’s dignity is restored.
I include these two things together because the novel has made me grateful for the life I lead. I might only see my kids off to school and work a simple job at a simple (but excellent) school, but I am grateful, eternally grateful, for Today: Just for today.