J. is a sweet girl.
She does as she is told.
She works hard even though sometimes she doesn't fully believe in herself.
She reminds me a lot of myself when I was a kid.
I'm greeting everyone as they come into the classroom like I do every morning.
J shuffles by me without looking up.
I call her back.
This isn't like her.
She normally greets me with a smile.
As I lift her chin in my hand, I question what is wrong.
Tears stream down her cheeks.
"My mom didn't come home all weekend. My dad told me this morning, they are separating."
I wrap her into me.
I have been there.
I have felt that pain.
She continues to hold onto me as I greet the other students.
I know this harsh reality isn't going to be easy for her.
When everyone is in the room, I take a moment to tell her the only thing I know to say.
"You need to know that this is not your fault. You also need to know there is nothing you can do to change what is going to happen. But what you can do is give me a hug when you need one."
I gave LOTS of hugs today.
I have a feeling I will be giving a LOT more.
This is one case that I wished my students didn't share in my past experiences.
And every tear that had to fall from my eyes,
And everyday I wondered how I'd get through the night,
Every change, life has thrown me,
I'm thankful, for every break in my heart,
I'm grateful, for every scar,
Some pages turned,
Some bridges burned,
But there were lessons learned.
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