Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!" -Dr. Suess

Today in my after school program at the Creative Alliance we read Dr. Suess' Oh the Places You'll Go! I told my students I picked this book because I am moving. They looked shocked and said, "Where!". I realized they were worried even though I have only known them 3 days and I said, "Don't worry, just across town." It was funny though, I did want to read the book because I felt that even moving cross town is going to be a huge transition in my life.

I began the first page and then asked if anyone else wanted to read. One girl raised her hand so I passed her the book. She read and then I asked if she wanted to continue, but several other students raised their hands so we passed the book around. And every single one of them read, a whole class of 6-10 year olds each took a turn to read a page until we got to the end.

It was a great moment. Something really magical happened as the entire class worked together to read out loud. And the book itself is amazing. As the book described all the ways we move through life, I found myself reflecting on those times that I have been doing well, in slumps, waiting, alone, afraid and succeeding. Especially in this moment of transition, Suess' words spoke volumes. It reminded me that we all have brains in our heads and feet in our shoes and can go and do whatever we choose!

"Oh, the places you’ll go! There is fun to be done! There are points to be scored. There are games to be won. And the magical things you can do with that ball will make you the winning-est winner of all. Fame! You’ll be famous as famous can be, with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.

Except when they don’t. Because, sometimes, they won’t."

The book is so great because it identifies the process and cycle of life where sometimes we fail and sometimes we succeed, but always have someplace to go, the next thing to do and someone to meet. The fact that the choice in what we do is our own is emphasized by Suess' words:

"You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go."

I am deciding, I don't always know what I'll choose, but I know I have brains in my head and feet in my shoes. And that each new adventure I decide to choose, whether I succeed or I fail I will know what to do.

It reminds me of a Ford Maddox Ford quote from The Parade, "You do what you want and you take what you get for it." Except Suess is more hopeful than Ford and acknowledges that if we do our best we will move mountains.