Have you ever wondered what you can do to help people who feel left out?
Today is “twin day” at my school. As you can probably guess, it’s a day when kids get together and coordinate outfits to look like twins. It’s also a way to show some school spirit. I’ve been looking forward to this day for weeks because it means I can connect with my friends in a fun and cute way!
All weekend long, I bugged everyone with my excitement! I talk about what I’d be wearing with my friends; I talked about what other people said they would be wearing; I talked about how funny it would be if my two teachers decided to be twins too! Basically, I talked about this idea until people rolled their eyes when I brought up.
Here’s the thing, mostly, I was thinking about this day from MY perspective. This is important because my dad had ideas about twin day, but he didn’t say much to me when I was bugging him with my excitement.
This weekend, I also went to see the movie Wonder. The movie was INCREDIBLE and inspiring in so many ways. Sometimes when books get made into movies, you leave feeling disappointed. I promise, this one won’t disappoint you!
At the end of the movie, my heart was feeling a little ache that’s hard to describe. I left the theater thinking lots of things about life. I thought about kids at my school other people don’t pay much attention to or who aren’t included in ways that help them feel like part of the school community. I talked about it with my dad. He asked me an important question: “Liv, whose your Auggie?”
I can’t tell you how this simple question made me think about many things; my school, my life, and most importantly, my family. My dad talked to me the whole way home. He asked me to consider Twin Day. He asked me to think about the kid at school who might not have a friend to twin with. He asked me to think about Quinn.
My brother, Quinn doesn’t have a physical deformity like Auggie. His struggles are more on the inside. Sometimes he can hide his struggles, and no one notices. And, other times, hiding his struggles is really hard and exhausting.
Quinn doesn’t have anyone to twin with today; the heartache I felt after I saw Wonder is with me again. I think it’s the ache that comes when you love someone sooooo much you wish you could make things better. I asked Quinn to twin with me, but he wasn’t really into doing that. It sort of screams, “I HAVE NO FRIENDS SO I AM TWINNING WITH MY SISTER!!!!” Yeah, that’s not cool. But, I got him to agree to twin in a very subtle way. Today we are wearing the same shark bracelets. It’s my way of including Quinn.
I hope everyone reading this thinks about the underdog. Sometimes your Auggie is right in front of you. RJ Palacio made Auggie’s disability something really dramatic, so that we would stop and think deeply about how we treat others. Auggie’s face is something we can’t miss. But, here’s the thing, maybe we miss A LOT of people’s differences because we have to look deeper; their difference isn’t something right on their face.
Think about how you include others. Think beyond the obvious differences and look deeper. Think about your behavior and whether or not you truly reach out to those in need. Think about how being kind is more than a hashtag; it’s thinking beyond your own perspective.
If I get to see RJ again, I’m going hug her soooooo hard for all the ways she made me think about my life. It’s true that books can change you. Wonder made me realize what’s right in front of me.
Today I dressed like my friends for Twin Day. But, I also brought a bag full of shark bracelets for all the kids in my class. That way, we are ALL connected, and we are also connected back to Quinn, my Auggie and my heart.
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