Jane Goodall in the House!

Today Jane Goodall visited my sons’ school. (I’m linking to her Wikipedia page for Tabby, who never knows who I’m talking about.)

That’s right, the Jane Goodall. Just to be clear, she wasn’t in my house, just the house. That would have been beyond exceptional, but I can’t imagine wasting her time on little old us.


I couldn’t believe it when they told me that she was coming to speak. I was like, “Yah, right. Will Brad Pitt be there, too?” but then I got the flier that she would be speaking at an assembly and parents could fight over a limited amount of tickets. I was all over that like white on rice.

To be obnoxious (and gloat) I would say to people, “You will never guess who is coming to the boys’ school.” and every single person said, “Who? Brad Pitt?” What’s it with that guy, anyway? It’s like his name has become synonymous with celebrity.


Then I’d tell them it was the Legendary Jane Goodall and they would be even more impressed. She might be one of a small handful of people that has more clout than Brad.

Zeb and I stood in the wings and watched her deliver a moving speech to the children. We marveled at how both our kids were close enough to touch her yet they had no way of grasping what an amazing, visionary, engaging person she is, or the level of sacrifice she’s made to further her causes.


She told my favorite story about watching a hen lay an egg when she was just a child (which inspired me to do the same with my chickens) and she taught the entire school how to do a chimpanzee call.

She challenged them to think about the food we eat, how we treat animals, how we can borrow from future generations rather than steal from them, and to bring activism into our homes. While they may not appreciate who she is now, hopefully one day they will be able to and embrace her work and mission as part of their own moral centers.

You may ask how the school managed such a coup. Somebody’s parents know her and talked her into visiting with the children. Is it that easy? Obviously my boys go to a very special school. The amazing part is that it is 100% public (Title One, in fact) and neighborhood. What it has going for it is a very motivated group of parents that move heaven and earth to make amazing things happen.

I couldn’t help but wonder, how on earth did I land here? In this town, in this life, with this family, in this community that draws such wonderful people who will hopefully encourage my children to be better people themselves. I am overwhelmed with gratitude.

Sorry I’ve got nothing to purge today. I’m simply too excited about today’s special guest to be productive. I’ll make it up to you tomorrow.

9 thoughts on “Jane Goodall in the House!

  1. ViVi! Jane Goodall came to the Boulder Theater with her (13?!) years ago and I volunteered (demanded) to be her security as she signed books. It was just weeks after Columbine and she provided a much needed infusion of positivity. Seeing children in a line that wrapped around the theater just to glean some of her goodness filled my heart. I have a framed photo of us at our little balcony card table. It is currently the ONLY photo I have in a frame. No wedding pics, no baby pics- I get to see those guys every day. JG doesn’t happen every day. She is a gentle spirit with bottomless strength.

    • Jane Goodall is the spokesperson for living with purpose and integrity. That’s so great that you have a framed picture of her up. You really ought to have a picture of the baby, too, though. He’s pretty cute.

      • I know, I’m terrible. I’ll get to it eventually. Part of my problem is having thousands of pics and videos to sift through and being cursed by an embarrassing lack of digital prowess. I promise to come to Visit before Ferris’ hilarious toddler antics wear off. He gives excellent kisses.

  2. PS I keep wanting to reply re: dog park drama, Zeb’s nifty Lego in the shoe trick, your magical ability to purge, etc. but I’m too A.D.D. with my technology and this toddler I have shackled to my ankle. I love reading your blog, talented lady.

    • Thanks Nikki! It’s so nice to know that you are reading. I’m still mad at you for moving to Denver, but you can be mad at me for living in Boulder. I miss you! Let me know when you get out of Nap Purgatory and we can make some kind of play date. The boys are great with the little ones.

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