joy and sorrow today in one child

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i have the opportunity to care for 18 magical, delightful unique little creatures everyday.  when i’m not acting or performing, it’s the best gift i could experience.  i really feel like i make a difference.  learning how to love children – i have always loved children, but creating a little school family…or community of sorts…has challenged me to really love them in a mightier way.  this job calls me to love them day in and day out, when they’re being cute and when they’re being testy, when i feel like it and when i’m tired.  it’s definitely made me reassess what unconditional love looks like and how i want to get there and how much i want the children to experience it both at home and at school and everywhere

i encountered something today at work in a new way.  i already knew about it, read about it and even have experienced it.  but when you experience it in the life of a three year old you have been blessed to care for for almost a year, it makes you sad in a new way.  i know that i will be stretched to the maximum when i, myself, become a parent and have to watch my child suffer in some way. 

so one of my children was adopted when they were a year old.  i actually at one point had 5 children in my class with that story.  and sometimes, when this child’s world of attachments gets ruffled (i.e. i am on vacation or someone in their little family is) this child experiences it far more deeply than most others.  they aren’t necessarily a child who craves routine, but they definitely crave stability within their relational world.  if i were describing what this child is like 95% of the time it is JOY.  they simply ooze JOY and when they are gone their presence is felt.  even other children note how JOYous this child is.

but when they cry, it is gutteral.  it is heart-breaking.  it comes from a very deep place, their whole body shakes, and they cry from every pore of their being.  this child is not acting, but is perhaps the most honest connector to the human emotion of sorrow. 

they cry because the hole of needing to feel loved and secure is a little wider, a little deeper than most children.  their parents (who are one of my “parent role models” that i aspire to be like someday)  are very aware of adoption issues.  the best way i have found to think about it is just that their attachments were traumatically severed at birth and early months following.  while the child does not have any serious problems and is so “normal”, traumas leave heartprints.  i myself was adopted and should probably think about these things more!  :)  more to come on this topic…

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One response »

  1. If you ever want to talk about this in more detail I would love to know how you feel about these types of reactions and what you have found to work best as a teacher.

    I too have a couple children in my class(es)that have been adopted and it breaks my heart when I feel almost incapable of giving them the kind of comfort that they crave.

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