I sat for just a moment in my car today before I went in to get Alex.
I was thinking about a Kindergarten boy, so small he has a booster seat on the bus, I found out today his mom just might be dying. It’s her heart. She has good days and bad days, but she HAS days.
I felt my own heart sway and shudder for him . . . for her . . . for the fact that I know these things
Most of my students are “those kids”. The ones you, deep down in places you don’t talk about at a Scentsy party, are glad aren’t yours.
Collectively my students have
- speech problems
- trach tubes
- g tubes
- hands so non functional that even with multiple surgeries those hands still look . . . I will be kind and say “unpleasant”
- a history of sexual abuse
- head lice
- facial growths
- speech so unintelligible their own parents can’t understand
- IQs below the average range (85 to 115 with 100 being average)
- IQs below 70. Which yes. Makes them “the R word”
- bad teeth
- more bad teeth
- clothes too small
- no bath time
- pull ups
- free lunches
- been shaken as babies
- step parents
- no parents
I’m not here to preach. I’m totally human. Those hands I mentioned? Oh they freak me right the fuck out. Fair or not, they just do. I won’t judge anyone for what they might fear or what they might think, to themselves, about MY students. Think what you want, but treat my students with some integrity or prepare to deal with ME.
Those little punks LIGHT UP when they see me coming for them. That helps me cope with what I know about them. Their files confess to me like I am a priest.
Today I learned that in my tiny tiny district, we have 30 students identified who are categorized as homeless. THIRTY. out of less than 650. THAT WE KNOW OF. and come on, we know there are more.
My heart. My tenderheart is swayed, and I have to figure out how to cope with that, because this is a marathon. It is September and I have so many months to go, I have to figure out how to go balls to the wall for 8 hours at work, shake it off, and come home to be healthy for myself and so many things to Alex.
My job as a person just got so much larger in this tiny place. So if I’m quiet for a while, it’s because I am over here thinking. I am finding my quiet so I can find a new center, because wow, I am needed and more than ever, my act has to get together so I stay up to this challenge and because I know these things, I can’t look away.