February 2, 2015

Ooooooh, Child...

"...things are gonna get easier. Ooooooh, child, things'll get brighter..."

Now the song's in my head. You're welcome, The Five Stairsteps fans.

But, seriously.

Dear Sweet Child Who's in My Classroom at Lunch,

I love that you're your own person. Independent. Smart as a whip. Your fashion choices are...well...not mainstream. I love that you wear pants that are too short for you, rainbow, neon-checked socks, and a light mint-green shirt. I love that you twisted your long, almost scraggly blonde hair back, but that there's definite evidence of bed-head still at play.

I love that you have a fierce sense of self, and I love that you are determined to be YOU, regardless of what the throngs of junior high kiddos are doing. I love that you refuse to compromise who you are to fit in, but I love that you are still willing to try to find a point of connection with others who are so different from you.

But, I also know. I know that you long for a friend, and you have yet to find one. I know that by coming into my classroom and telling me about your weekend adventures with your family that you're looking for validation. I know that doing your homework at lunch is a defense against the loneliness you're feeling because you see everyone else in groups. Laughing. Joking. Connecting.

And, honey. It breaks my heart, too. I WANT for you to feel accepted, loved. Connected to the peers around you. I desire for you to have a friend who will look you in the face and honestly say, "Yes. You are my friend. I love you because of who you are. You are my tribe."

And, my heart breaks because I was that girl in junior high. I didn't have that friend...not at school. I wandered the halls, spoke more with teachers than my peers, and I hid behind the facade of homework so those around me couldn't notice how much it hurt that they couldn't...or wouldn't see me.

So, child. Sweet, sweet, independent, crazy, awesome, non-sequitur child, you are always welcome with me. Come eat in my classroom, come pretend to do homework, come follow me around and tell me the minutia of your adventures outside of school.

There will come a day that God brings you that friend. The one who will connect, on a soul-level with you, who will challenge you, push you, accept you, and just love you...for who you are. Until then, you always have a safe place with me. And even after that friend shows up, I'm still gonna need to have you drop by. Just for some fashion advice. :)


That Girl


Anonymous said...

Tears :) I was borderline that girl--but being homeschooled through jr. high I didn't have to hide in public as much--just hid in my room or the backyard! SO felt it at youth group and social events though. Beautifully written! And love your heart for kids :) <3

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