Slice of Life: The Fairy Godmother Becomes a Navy SEAL

Conferences with parents are always interesting, and informative, but it is particularly nice when you can reconnect with a family whose sibling you had years earlier. I had that experience yesterday. Before we got down to “business” about their daughter, I asked about their son, who was in my class years ago and is in his first year out of high school. I haven’t seen him in years. I remember him as a short pudgy funny-man, who had great background knowledge but was quick to crack a joke.

Well, his mom said, “You would not recognize him. He’s becoming a Navy SEAL. He’s tall and buff and looks nothing like he used to.”


Apparently, he has had this goal in his head for a few years now to join the elite military force, and he has worked to get himself in tip-top physical and mental shape, and is now in the process of trying out for the SEALs. He’s about to go through some intense training with the Navy and many of those who apply don’t make it into the unit, needless to say.  It truly is an elite force. His mom and I both talked about how proud they must be of him, and also how scary it is, given the missions the SEALs are now being sent on all around the world.

My mind kept racing back to when he was in my sixth grade class, and in particular, I remembered our Fractured Fairy Tale play project. We put on a production for the school that year, and this boy (and another boy) were the shining stars of the show. The future SEAL had the part of the fairy godmother, and he came to school the days of the show decked out in a bright purple tutu, with pink wings on his back, and an oversized wand. He played the part to the hilt on the stage (I still have the DVD somewhere).

I’m having a hard time reconciling my old fairy godmother as a possible Navy SEAL, to be honest. Let’s hope that if he makes it into the program, some magic dust keeps him safe wherever he ends up in the world.

Peace (in memory),


  1. You sure got me. Of course I thought you were going to write about female student…fairy godmother and all:) Great accomplishment for your former student…I can tell you are proud.

  2. What a wonderful memory and a reminder that you just never know what children will become. Sometimes, I hear teachers predict, “He/she will be a succes/never amount to anything with his/her (you fill in the blanks).”…. Now I have another story to share as to why those predictions are just not facts!

  3. It’s always such a joy to know our students from other years are doing well. (Aren’t they always thought of as our students?) I hope he will come back sometime to say hello.

  4. Wouldn’t it be great if some magic dust would keep all of our armed forces safe?
    Thanks for sharing and the reminder that we have no idea what our young students will grow into.

  5. Always interesting to see what has happened to those students. I just heard from one who is now a French teacher & a colleague of one of our teachers of long ago. Not as interesting as a Navy Seal but fun to hear about. Did you tell the parents you remembered about the fairy godmother?

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