Thursday, February 13, 2014

we still need the village.

i haven't cried over a student in a long time.
we still have the same problems and the same situations and the same stress as always, i think i've just learned how to manage my tears a little better. 

for the past three weeks, i've had a little friend in my office almost every single day. he's fighting. and spitting. and talking back. and climbing fences trying to escape from school. this is a feisty little one, who we had to work hard with last year to break him of some of his habits. before this month, i hadn't heard much from him - or about him. 

today, we both lost it.

he threw a rock at a bigger kid's head and the bigger kid decided he wasn't going to follow the no fighting rule anymore. my little man came into the office - bruised and battered, but still with that defiant look on his face, unbreakable. 

i picked him up and rocked him.
he wouldn't talk.
no answers to my questions at all.
until i asked if his dad was home. had he talked to dad lately? has anyone taken him to visit dad? 

and the big, fat tears welled up in his eyes and rolled down his face.
he hasn't seen his dad since july. his mom only lets him talk on the phone "sometimes" and why won't they just let him see his papi? and he whispered "i miss him so much."

sometimes as parents and as educators we forget that everything we do has the potential to affect our babies. sometimes it's obvious - this kid's dad is in jail - but as i held this little man, thrust overnight into being the "man" of the house, i realized that i hadn't hugged him or told him how much i love him in ages. 

tomorrow, we're going to take a picture of little man and his brother and i'm going to try my hardest to get it to his dad, along with a valentine's day card. we're going to meet with mom and see what's up. and hopefully get to the root of all this craziness. 

Sunday, February 9, 2014

how you'll know my kids aren't being raised in the USA

my kids are pretty normal. they play outside and like to watch movies. they go to school and do homework. mostly, they speak both languages - spanish and english - interchangeably.

kids are adaptable, it's true. and mine love going to philadelphia to visit our family and jump right into all of the different experiences with glee.  lately, though, i've been noticing a lot of little things that really speak to where they've grown up.

the other day, we drove a friend to get her kitchen-gas tank refilled. it's routine for us - when the tank empties (usually in the middle of cooking), we load it in the car and go to the gas pump. it bothers me and it's definitely not my favorite task. as we got in the car samil says "only at grandma's house is there gas all the time. they only have a little tank on the outside stove."

another friend was complaining that her hot water heater isn't working. we haven't had a hot water heater since our first ever apartment - and we had so many problems with it that we kind of gave up. when it gets really chilly, i heat up water on the stove and the kids take cat-baths. in this heat, the cold water is kind of nice. right after she complained about her heater, samil started begging for warm water for his shower because all americans use hot water to take a bath.

this week, it seems that the winter weather up north took out a lot of electric lines and left people without electricity for awhile. i was telling amalio about it and amely told us that all of those people are babies because look! no electricity here and nobody is crying.