Alot of times, people ask me why it is I love my job. It's really hard to explain because so many people can't understand especially when some days I am so frustrated. There are many things that frustrate me: uninterested parents, dirty children, neglected children, dirty houses, terrible neighborhoods...things I would love to change, and can't. But to me all of the things that frustrate me, also teach me. How not to be selfish, how to be content, and just down-right over joyed with all that I have been blessed with in this life, how to never underestimate warm bath water, and a pantry FULL of snacks and food, to appreciate transportation, and a nice house, and family and friends always there to help if there weren't those aforementioned snacks and transportation. So, this is my latest blog entry...in honor of the kids who would love to tell you, but can't...
Do You Know How I Live?
Do you know how I live? My house is not clean, and a lot of the time, there are bugs, and sometimes even rats inside. I don’t know the difference, and I don’t understand when you say you feel bad I live like this; because I have always lived like this. You wonder how I make it with dirty floors, and sheets, and even clothes, but in my world being clean is not really a priority. No one buys shampoo and soap and bubble bath in fun bottles and colors for me. We save our money for food, and electricity. In winter I hate taking a bath because it is so cold in my house. And, sometimes the water has been turned off, and sometimes the electricity.
Do you know how I live? Today I did not wear socks. We don’t have a washer and dryer and my mom has to walk to the laundry mat to wash my clothes. My little brother has been sick, and it’s been raining so she hasn’t been this week. I know its cold outside and I need them, but it is also another reason that we haven’t walked to the laundry mat. I don’t have a drawer full of socks. I only have a few pair and I am embarrassed to wear dirty socks because I’m scared someone will make fun of me if they have a bad smell.
Do you know how I live? In my house no one really talked to me when I was a baby, and because of this, my language skills are a little behind. Sure they cared for me, but in my house, no one knew the importance of introducing me to books, and toys that push, and puzzles. For this reason when I come to Kindergarten I am very overwhelmed by the sights and sounds and colors and symbols you call letters and numbers. I don’t recognize them. It’s overwhelming. Someday’s, it’s just too much. I know my name, but I have never seen it in print. I didn’t go to a daycare where they taught me to recognize my name on a cubby. We didn’t know it was important to teach me these things before I came to school. Now i'm really behind.
Do you know how I live? I eat at school. That’s it. On the weekends we do the best we can, but I count on the school to feed me. Sometimes I am so hungry I eat so fast and my manners are terrible. I don’t know about manners. I’ve really never sat down at the table with napkins in my lap and plates and forks set just so. We just don’t eat like that at my house. I can’t be expected to know something I have never practiced or even seen. A lot of times this is why still want to come to school when I am sick. So I can eat in the cafeteria. Here I get my own tray and no one fights with me for my roll or juice.
Do you know how I live? I LOVE recess. I need it. My neighborhood isn’t really somewhere where we get to play outside. When we do, I don’t have things to climb on or slide down or swing in. Those things are so fun and so foreign to me. They are so interesting. I guess that’s why I protest so much when we can’t go outside or when it’s time to come in. It is my favorite part of the day. It is one of the only times I don’t feel like I’m behind. Sometimes, it’s the only time that I can keep up.
Do you know how I live? There are going to be days that I act terrible. Just plain awful, but I need you to be patient with me. I need you to take a deep breath and understand that where I come from, my behavior is okay. I need you to help me understand WHY I need to behave differently at school, I need you to help me…period. Just be there for me. When you help me to understand I feel so much more secure. I want you to love me, like I love you.