Thursday, September 16, 2010

Out of the mouths of babes...

As their smiling faces come pouring in at a quarter past seven, I am reminded of where they have just come from. One would assume that these nicely groomed children with backpacks in tote would come from the highest classed families in Dallas. They politely smile and greet me with, “Good Morning Miss Eng,” from the very smallest that stand no higher than my knee to the very oldest that are most likely taller than me.
As I listen in on their stories, I am reminded of where they actually come from. Two little girls were waiting for their mom to pick them up from school and began talking about their home life. Yes, they do share a room was the answer to another girls inquisitive questioning. For that matter, they all shared a room, but mommy got to sleep on the bed. They giggled and smiled as they said, “And it REALLY gets crowded when daddy is there too! But it’s ok because we are all squished in together!”
I am amazed at what the kids pick up on from their own family life. A fellow teacher told me of one 2nd grader who was complaining of a hurting side. His teacher asked if he had told his mom and he said, “No, I don’t want to make her more sad than she already is.” When the teacher inquired as to why, he poured out his sad tale. “My mommy is sad because my daddy left. It makes me sad too. That’s why I don’t want to tell my mommy because it will make her more sad.”
As I hear these children’s stories, it breaks my heart and makes me want to hold them just that much tighter. Their childhood is so much different from my own, but they want what every child wants: someone to love and care for them.
I overheard a little boy tell his teacher, “At my last school they told me they wished I had never been born.” The teacher put her arm around him and said, “I don’t know what I would do without you.”
This is West Dallas Community School and I am proud to be a part of it.

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