Hi Binghamton Poetry Project followers! I hope that this week treated you well and that you’re ready to jump into your weekend. As an intern for BPP I have been responsible for assisting with the children’s workshop every Monday from 5:30-6:30 p.m. at the Broome County Public Library. Writing poetry with children allows you to peek into their minds and understand their feelings, emotions, likes and dislikes. They offer a sense of innocence and humor to any situation. They are brilliant. But do they view themselves as such? How is who they are now going to translate into who they will become?

I don’t have much recollection of my own self-image as a child. I can’t remember whether I thought of myself as patient, smart, or even humorous. But I can recall many of my actions. In 2nd grade 8 year-old me slept over at my best friend Sarah’s house. Although it was always a great time we often got into things we weren’t supposed to. The morning after one particular sleepover, I recall agreeing to an obstacle course in Sarah’s backyard. This obstacle course included running around the yard twice, moving a flag from one flower pot to another, then crawling into the house through the doggie door, and back out, to finally scale up the side of the shed to jump off into the grass to stop time. Naturally, I went first and ran for my life. Around the yard, relocating the flag in the other flower pot, in and out the doggie door, up the side of the shed, and there I was: feet dangling from the edge. I was about to make the split-second decision to jump ten feet when I heard a car pull into the driveway. I made eye contact with my mom through the windshield of our white minivan. She was there to pick me up after my sleepover. My face must have gone white seeing her eyes pop out of her head as she put the car in park and got out. She was livid. She began screaming at me in Portuguese to get down from the shed before I broke both of my legs (and I would have if I had made that decision). However, I instinctively cried the entire way home.

What this story gives me, other than a good laugh, is insight into my character. Although I fear disappointing my mother, I’ve never feared diving head first into any given situation. This is still true of myself today. I choose to go first with any presentation I’ve ever given, I try to be the leading example with everything that I do, and I never back down from a challenge. I like to convince myself I am fearless because by doing so, I never limit my potential or myself. Being fearless does not mean I am not afraid of things, it means that being afraid doesn’t change my course of action. What allows me to continue being fearless is having a strong support system to keep me from falling or jumping too quickly. I have learned to make better decisions now, but jumping off of the roof of a shed is just one of the many things I’m glad my mom has caught me doing.

Today, I’d like for you all to explore a characteristic that is innate to who you are. Explore childhood memories and come up with a specific event that says more about your personality than you ever once believed. Take that event and write about the word that best describes you. How has it played a roll in other aspects of your life? What trouble, if any, has this fundamental truth caused you? Really take your time and reflect. Hope you all have a wonderful weekend! #InternKaelan



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