Monday, June 12, 2006
Actually, this is the after the Exploratorium part...
As it turns out, these kids have never been to the beach, except once with another teacher. So we were planning on taking them to Ocean Beach. I asked if they wanted to build sandcastles, and the older one said, "I don't know how to build a sandcastle." They didn't know how to build a sandcastle! We had to stay there for a while - building sandcastles (is that one word or two?), digging moats, writing their names in the sand, racing with Austin (my brother, who met us there).
After we all finally became exhausted, we drove home. At this point, Warren asked me if they were going to get dinner. They called home and the answer was no, so Warren stopped to buy them dinner. If he hadn't, it would have been a hard call for me because I want to take care of them in the worst way, but I had already spent a lot of money on them that day, and it's hard to know where to draw the line.
I was very grateful - not just for the time and money a friend of mine was willing to spend on kids who he had never met before, but for the bigger picture. I have been so blessed this year by people who have no responsibility for my kids but want to get involved. I'm sure that Warren had other things he could have been doing on a Saturday, but he was totally there with the kids - playing, explaining, and generally making them feel special. He hasn't been the only one this year. I'm going to be writing a lot more (as soon as I have time!) about our wonderful athlete volunteers, about Ameshia my intern who signed on for an extra semester without school credit, Ellen who prays for and volunteers with the kids, sitting with the most difficult one to make a card, my brother and sister who both came to see how this class was and what they were like, Anna who chaperoned a field trip that no parents came to, Kathy who comes in once a week - and her visits are the highlight of the kids weeks! Also all the people who pray for the kids, who write to them (when our Internet connection works), who donate stuff, or even wonder how the kids are doing.
The thing that astounds me about all these people is that none of them have any responsibility for these kids. They are all choosing to be a part of the kids' lives in a direct or indirect way out of the goodness of their hearts and because they value the kids - without even knowing them - and that is a radical difference from what these kids are used to. It makes me believe that there's some hope for these kids still, and that God is showing me - and hopefully them - that he will provide people to care for them, even if it is not the people who are supposed to be doing it. So, if you are any of these people, just know that you are making a difference - absolutely, no doubt in my mind!