If you are worried about your child’s next ballet lesson, and they are still in diapers, you will struggle with my words or think that this is shit isn’t real. Not because you are an awful human, but because your life is on autopilot sailing through ballet, Disneyland, and what next destination for this summer has the best kids club for mom and dad. You have privileges of having a general dollar or two to spare. I was you. No blame, you work hard. We gave our child everything and the grand nugget will have many experiences because we can. It’s ok. But now let me present the other side. I teach these humans every day and they teach me far more than I do, on most days. I share because their experience goes unnoticed in a world of social media perfection.
As a teacher, if you listen, you hear their lives. Sometimes you hear what you grew up with, whatever that might be, and your feelings are nostalgia laden. Other times you hear realities that do not exist in your bubble but are real. Today, I became scared. My first sighting of a real weapon. So many teachers have real and unreal fear these days based on the media coverage of truly horrific and sad events, that could have been stopped if we listen, know our kids, and take action. The classroom has become a cesspool of fear. Today, the blade was not pointed or a threat. Nope the large scary object, that could take a life, any life, just fell out of a hoodie pocket. Why, so they could protect their siblings. Ponder that. You with me. Yes, protect siblings. It was sweet. Yes, it was. I did what teachers do calmly and our fabulous administration will do what they have to do by law, but for me I left saddened, as this will be a lesson that will be hard, on already a truly hard life, as I tend to listen quite a bit. All of it was wrong and we did have a short chat before others took over. But tonight, I feel bad. Yes, I feel bad. Crazy, huh. I know, he just did not know, and is a kid being sent out into this world to do it all. School, earning money for the family, and trying to protect his siblings. My life as a child was not all rosy, but this is out of my league and general understanding.
Tonight. I can only think what if someone went after him, if it opened and he bumped into someone, or if another child with anger got ahold of it and well, you know. What if?