First Day

Dear Myra, on your first day of seventh grade, I wanted to sit down and write you a letter. Namely, I wanted to remind you not to be anxious about starting a new school.

So do not be nervous.

But then, of course, whenever someone tells you NOT to do something, your brain ends up doing it even worse. It’s human nature.

An example of this would be if I were to tell you NOT to envision your little brother, Jason, going poop. Immediately, you would envision little Jason, sitting on the toilet, waiting for the spirit to move, shouting at you, and saying, “THERE’S SOMEONE IN HERE!”

Which is what all people shout in bathroom stalls when people try to barge in on them. We use these words verbatim. I don’t know why we all shout these exact words in public bathrooms. Whenever a bathroom stall is locked, there is obviously someone in there. There is no need to shout about it.

This is why, whenever someone tries to barge in on me in a public restroom, I start singing. Usually, I sing something from the catalog of James Brown. Such as, “I Feel Good,” or “Let a Man Come in and Do the Popcorn.” Because that is the kind of world I want to live in.

But what I am getting at is that you shouldn’t be nervous today, Myra, because you have nothing to be nervous about.

I know your parents are both recently deceased from a car accident. I also know you and your brother are living in foster care with Miss Pamela, whom you barely know.

Your life is upside down. And now it’s time to start a new school. You have anxiety. You have panic attacks. You’re nervous. But the truth is, you don’t need to be worried. And I’m going to tell you why.

Because today is no ordinary day, Myra. Oh, it might seem ordinary. You might have woken up, eaten an ordinary breakfast, taken an ordinary shower, and put on ordinary shoes. But today is actually the greatest day of your life in disguise. Because today is filled with magic.

How do I know this? Well, because I just do.

Did you know, for instance, that right now magic is making your heart beat? I am serious. I am not being poetic. Poetry is not magic. Poetry is torture. You will learn this when in English class you are forced at knifepoint to study T.S. Eliot’s “The Waste Land.”

Our heartbeat baffles scientists. Nobody really knows why the heart beats. Oh, sure there are biological explanations.

The sinus node, the pacemaker of your heart, generates and discharges tiny electrical shocks that cause your cardiac muscle to contract. This contraction (squeeze) forces blood through chambers into arteries (think about milking a cow).

This same electrical charge that started in the SA Node will travel throughout all chambers of your heart, squeezing blood through one-way valves, and powering your body.

But nobody, not even the smartest researchers in the world, truly understands where this mysterious electricity comes from. Your body is somehow making this electricity.

But how? You are not plugged into a wall outlet. You do not run on gasoline. You have no double-A batteries.

Moreover, while you were reading the above paragraphs, your heart beat approximately 100 times. Every day, your heart beats about 100,000 times. Which is 40 million times a year; 3 billion times in an average lifespan. You never feel the electricity. It’s just there.


This same magic exists all over the earth. In every living thing. In every inanimate thing. In the air itself. In every moment. And every heart. For there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, or even the united strength of all the strongest men who ever lived could tear apart.

Every single day contains this sacred magic if you know where to look. You will meet new friends, and you’ll feel the magic. You will have strange coincidences, and feel the magic. You will witness little miracles you cannot explain, and the magic will give you goosebumps.

So today, as you walk through foreign hallways, if find yourself feeling lost, alone, scared, and missing your late parents, remember not to be nervous.

Remember that you have magic inside you. Remember that this magic lives directly inside your heart.

And this miraculous power is always with you. This magic is what will make you strong. And brave. And resilient. Above all, remember that this Magic loves you very much. In fact, He has your name engraved on the Palms of His Hands.

Good luck at your new school, Myra.


  1. Dee Thompson - August 10, 2023 3:09 am

    Beautiful. You should adopt those two. I adopted a 10 year old boy and a 13 year old girl. No diapers. No spit up. Google and YouTube help with homework dilemmas. Go for it.

  2. H. J. Patterson - August 10, 2023 3:42 pm

    Ditto what Dee said Sean. They could help with the dogs, mow the lawn, get you beer while the Braves are playing, etc., etc.

  3. Karen Phillips - August 10, 2023 4:10 pm

    I refer to the verse often when things get a little rough. It always comforts me to know my name is written by the nail scars. I hope it does the same for Myra.

  4. Cathy Moss - August 10, 2023 4:40 pm

    This reminds me of a song from childhood. I wish you could sing it to Myra and her brother. He’s got the whole world in his hands, He’s got the little bitty babies in his hands. I know he has Myra and her brother in his hands and I pray that the foster parent has the love and kindness to cover these precious children with all that they need right now. He has all believers in the palm of his hands. Just thinking of that is enough for me❤️🙏🏻

  5. pattymack43 - August 10, 2023 5:35 pm

    Thank you for keeping the magic going!! Don’t ever stop!! Blessings!

  6. Josie - August 10, 2023 8:39 pm

    So beautifully well written and heartfelt my dear friend what a blessing you are and that is why I love reading all your stories keep on writing Sean god bless you and your family 🙏


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