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A+SEL, Community Building, Representation, School to Home, The Mindful Student

Jade’s Blog: Jade and the Baby Deer


This week, we follow Jade as she reflects on the world around her—and gets used to a new fifth grade schedule! Read her story aloud to students in order to role-play what to do when they’re feeling overwhelmed.

Jade’s Blog: Jade and the Baby Deer

My favorite thing about fall is playing outside in the bright, multicolored leaves. There’s something about watching the big oak tree outside our house change from green to yellow-orange and red. Mom likes to say it’s a reminder that we all change, but I don’t really know what she means by that. When I’m running through the leaves, I feel like I can do anything. I can stay outside on sunny, crisp days for so long—until my cheeks get red and sore from the wind. Sometimes I bring my notebook outside with me and press the prettiest leaves inside the pages to save them for later.

Outside, I’ll lay on my back and make up shapes in the clouds or flip onto my belly and journal or draw. I know my cat, Marigold, watches me from the window, so sometimes I run inside just to give her a good pet before coming back out into the cold.

Spending time outside makes me feel connected to everything around me, from the trees that sway to the birds that fly in the sky. Mom always says, “When you feel overwhelmed, take a deep breath and look up. It can help make our problems feel small.” I’m still getting used to my new fifth grade schedule, and we’re back to school tomorrow after a long weekend, so I’ve been trying to breathe and look at the sky all day.

Jade’s Blog: Jade and the Baby Deer

Since we went on break, I’ve been getting this rumbling feeling in my stomach, like my lunch is having a parade. I’m not sure why that's happening. I feel excited to go back to school again but nervous too I guess. I roll onto my back and rub my stomach to try and make it feel better. Suddenly, I spot something fluffy out of the corner of my eye. Behind our tree is a deer! I hold my breath. I watch as it slowly picks at the grass on our lawn, and I try to blend into the pile of leaves I’m lying on.

“No way,” I think to myself. Then, from behind its long legs, pops a tinier version of the deer, even fluffier than the first. “A BABY deer!!!” I scream and run over to the window to get Marigold's attention.

“Look, Marigold! A baby deer!” I call while gently knocking on the glass so as to not scare the deer family away. Instead of jumping to attention, Marigold lets out a little yawn and stretches her legs before rolling over with her back facing me. “I guess someone is enjoying the sun too much,” I say with a shrug.

Jade’s Blog: Jade and the Baby Deer

I slowly walk back over to the pile of leaves and crouch down to get a better view. The two deer move closer to our big oak tree. I stare up into the branches and wonder if the deer are looking up too, getting lost in all of the tree’s twists and turns. I think about Mom and what she said. The world is so big! And sometimes it’s nice to remember that.

My heart stops. “I have to write this down!” I squeal and run over to my journal waiting for me in the grass. When I open it up, the pages feel crispy and chilled from laying outside all afternoon. I quickly start writing about the baby deer and even draw a picture of it surrounded by the oak tree branches and bright leaves.

I don’t want the weekend to end, but now I can’t wait to tell Anisa, my best friend, about the baby deer in my backyard. It’s okay that I’ll only see her at lunch this year. Maybe I can bring my journal to school and show my whole class the picture I drew! I hug my notebook to my chest at the thought of sharing it.

Mom is right. I feel a little nervous, but I have all this cool stuff to share with new friends—and old—about home. And I can’t wait to hear my classmates’ stories. My stomach starts to settle for the first time all day as I take a big, deep breath and sigh it out.


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