Thursday, October 6, 2011

Scaling the Wall

Have you ever felt like you've hit a wall?  I did last week.  I felt like I had hit the tallest, strongest solid brick wall with my emotions.  (In case you haven't guessed yet, the pic above has nothing to do with anything.  I just liked the picture of the super tall wall.)

When I decided that I really did want to be a teacher (and that this wasn't just a whim), a big part of it was that I love the fact that kids show so much affection.  They don't hold grudges, they love freely, and the younger ones give hugs.  Have I ever mentioned that I love hugs?  I think hugs may quite possibly be the greatest gift anyone can give or receive.  

Well, I miss hugs.  Most of the kiddos that I work with don't have the ability to give hugs.  Some days, I am not sure that they even remember who I am, and I found myself struggling with that.  I went to bed early, and cried.  I had myself a big ol' pity party.  I was doubting my ability to finish at the Children's Center, my abilities as a teacher in general, and any other abilities I may or may not possess.

In the middle of all my selfishness, I had the nerve to cry a little bit for the kids, too.  I decided to feel sorry for them.  I told myself all of the reasons that it wasn't fair that they have to live the way they do.  

Then, I scaled the wall, so to speak.  While I was crying for the kids, their faces started running through my mind.  I could see their smiles, hear their laughs, and feel their little hands holding my fingers.  It was during this mental slideshow that I realized how incredibly wrong I was.  Obviously I was being selfish.  The reality is these kids do deal with problems that I could never imagine dealing with, so what right do I have to feel sorry for myself.

On the other hand, in my time at the Children's Center, I have rarely seen an unhappy child.  I see lots of kids who are surrounded by lots of people who love them so much.  They have an amazing support system through the medical staff, therapies staff, education staff, and all the other departments.  On days when I forget to be happy, they make me realize how much we have to be thankful for.  The littlest things light up their worlds.  I think they truly get it.  I have seen kids take joy and express appreciation for the tiniest things--a fan, funny noises recorded into a device, walking outside for a couple of minutes in the courtyard--all things that I take for granted.

I also realized that just because I don't get to feel their love through hugs (which I still dearly miss), I do get to see their affection.  I know it's there.  I see it everyday.

I see it in this face...

and in this one...

and in this one...

and in this one.

I am blessed.

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