#DBCBookBlogs: Cannonball In

It has taken me over 6 months to pick back up with my #DBCBookBlogs. I have started this post, deleted it, and restarted more times than I am comfortable sharing. You see, the more I get to know these authors, the more invested I have become in the reading, reviewing, and sharing of their books. This one is particularly difficult because the author of the 82nd book in the Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc line, Cannonball In, is THE Tara Martin.

cannonballin

You see, Tara is really the person who inspired me to continue #DBCBookBlogs after #DBC50Summer ended. Her book, Be REAL, was the 51st book published and when she shared that her book would be the next in the line, I knew I couldn’t stop reading and sharing; her book was going to be epic! It didn’t let me down, and neither did her picture book, Cannonball In!

Tara and I met for dinner & ice cream when she came to a town near me to deliver her epic #BookSnaps session. The passion and enthusiasm in her eyes as she shared her journey through writing the book and seeing Genesis Kohler’s beautiful illustrations was enough to bring tears to my own eyes. She was waiting to see “the big cannonball” illustration and her eagerness was precious. When I saw the illustration in the printed book, I knew that Genesis had portrayed that moment in the most perfect way!

There are so many teachable moments throughout the book and the overarching theme of cannonballing into things that seem scary is something we can all benefit from learning. Tara has shared so many incredible resources, lesson plans, activities, and even an interactive bulletin board on her website.

As I mentioned, I had started writing this blog multiple times. Once when I finished book 81, TeamMakers; again when I introduced Cannonball In to a group of students in our Between the Lines Club (a group of middle schoolers that meets each week as I read aloud a book/poem/graphic novel/etc); again when I shared the theme of the book with a group of students in my school who were starting Mustang Pride, a LGBTQ+ Club, at our school; and again when my school served as a host school for Annick Rauch & Nycol Didcote‘s Growth Mindset Read Aloud in January. There were other nights that I’d open this draft just to close out of the tab within minutes.

 

 

Tonight, I’m determined to just share the blog… to Cannonball In to sharing my thoughts again through blogging. Right now, there are so many things that feel scary – not just to me, but to the entire world. COVID-19 has turned simply going to get groceries into a scary experience right now. One of the scariest things for me hasn’t been the physical elements of this virus, but the mental & emotional exhaustion of having no control. I’ll just say it – I’m a control freak. I need to feel as though I’m in control. Not being able to see the students and teachers I serve, not being able to make decisions that impact remote learning for those folks I love & miss so much, not being 100% sure that we can keep my 90-year-old grandfather from coming into contact with the virus, not knowing how the virus would impact my 7 year old with Type 1 Diabetes, not knowing when (if) we’ll go back to school this year, not knowing if the 6 remaining rolls of toilet paper we’ve got will suffice before we find TP again (Stop hoarding the dang TP!!!!!)… all of the “not knowing” equates to having no control… I do. not. do. well. in these situations.

What typically happens when I feel no control is either one of two extremes… I either stress clean (when all the cans of food come out of the pantry & the pantry gets wiped down, the closets get cleaned out, the playroom gets reorganized, and the bookshelves get rearranged) or I curl up into a ball in bed refusing to get up. I’ve seen both of these extremes in the past 3 weeks. Listening to the reading of Cannonball In by Allyson Apsey on Facebook Live yesterday was the kick in the tail I needed to get up and get moving again, to truly face the uncertainties that COVID-19 brings. It reminded me, as an adult, that being willing to stand up and be confident (so what if you are just faking it at first) in front of the dabblers – and even if those dabblers are the voices inside our own minds – is so important to those who are watching when we don’t know they’ve been watching. I have a quote in the media center that says “Keep going; you never know who you’re inspiring.” Right now, I’ve got to cannonball into this with as much positivity & confidence as I can because my biggest audience is my family. My daughters are watching, and they will respond based on how I respond.

 

So thank you, Tara, my sweet friend, for reminding me that picture books aren’t just for kids. Picture books like Cannonball In inspire positive change in hearts and minds of people of all ages. My mom has always told me that what happens to me doesn’t define me, but the way I react to it does. This is no different.

COVID-19 isn’t going to keep us down; let’s choose to push past the doubts, fears, and uncertainties that this strand of the Coronavirus brings and make the best of a rotten situation. Together, we can Cannonball In!

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