Today is Jane Goodall’s 80th birthday, and I want to wish her a very happy birthday. I have admired her work for over 40 years! She is one of my heroes, and I was very blessed to be able to meet her a few years ago. She came to the school where I was teaching, to help launch our new Roots and Shoots club, and I was asked by my principal to introduce her at the school assembly. Why me? …because I had told my principal my story about reading her book, In the Shadow of Man, when my son was a newborn, and about how that book had really influenced my parenting! In reading about the chimp, Flo, who was such a wonderful mother, I learned a lot about patience and close attachment, and it really hit home with me as a new mom.
My principal asked me to tell that story as I introduced her, so I did. And my son, Dan, came in from Portland to be present in the assembly and to meet her. It was an extraordinary experience. She must have liked it all because she kissed my cheek after the introduction. It’s a totally awesome experience to have your cheek kissed by one of your life heroes! So, for her 80th today, I send her a big birthday bear hug and wishes for good health and many more years of her inspirational work.