Thursday, August 19, 2010

More on My Kids

My Little Sister (from Big Brothers Big Sisters) and I went to get our nails done yesterday.  She clearly got the better artist and is very happy with her flower and glitter.  Every time I hang out with her, I am amazed by how much she trusts me.  She's seven years old and has had many, many adults let her down, and yet she is completely trusting in someone she's known for all of two months and seen maybe six times.  She climbs up into my lap, holds my hand, hangs onto me in the swimming pool, and jumps up on me if a strange dog comes near her.  There's no hesitation at all.

I've talked before about how I believe that all these kids are ours.  I don't have children of my own, but I have all the kids I've ever worked with.  When I say that, I often get the response, "Oh, wait until you have kids of your own - it's totally different."  And I'm sure it is, in many ways.  I don't have full-time responsibility for any of these kids (although I would have taken it if I could in many cases).  But, for me, I don't care so much about the "own kids" thing because any kid who I've told is mine in any way is my own kid. 

When we were having a lockdown one year, one of the students was crying because he was afraid of the man in the hall with the gun (reasonable reaction).  Another student said, "But you don't have to worry because the teacher will never let the man with the gun get to us."  This wasn't naivete: this kid had known plenty of people who were shot, and some who were killed.  It wasn't because I was showing bravado: I've never been in front of a gun in my life and I had many nightmares after that episode (and no, I didn't even see the man with the gun).  I don't know how to explain it, but somehow I think that God made sure that if I did nothing else right in all my years of teaching, I was able to make those kids feel safe and assured that I would do anything possible to keep them that way.

Maybe my dog and I have more in common than I think.  

One year ago: Giving it to God (Or: The Truth in the Trite)

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