I’ve had over a thousand children in my lifetime. Some of have been black, some white, some tall, short, blue eyed, pierced, gay, autistic, humorous, dramatic, brilliant, dyslexic, talented, transgender, outgoing, artistic, athletic and everything else.
I’ve watched them grow up, learning to write that first sentence or hold their head high in the face of adversity. I’ve held their hands in grief and embraced their sorrows as my own. I’ve woken up before the sun, and howled at the moon to finish my daily tasks so that they could take that next step in life. I’ve stood toe to toe with them forcing them to face reality and challenging them to be their very best self.
My children throw curveballs at me every single day. Each and every one brings a different need, a different way of seeing the world, a different hurt needing to be smoothed away. It’s my privilege to guide them in telling their story, in bringing forth their very best selves, in learning to cope with the harsh realities of a world where they are so often told they are not enough. To me, my children are always enough- enough to move mountains, to change the world if that’s what they want to do. I believe so wholeheartedly in each of my children, sometimes the weight of my hope for them seems to be the sole ballast in otherwise increasingly chaotic and sometimes painful times.
I’ve withstood the torrential forces of the world that constantly tell me what I’m doing isn’t good enough- that question my methods and my motives. I’ve faced down the ever turning tide that threatens to wash away the love and creativity I want to bring to my children every day. I fight, oh how I fight, to help give them what they truly need, which can never be decided by those outside forces looking to make me feel less than. I struggle to be understood and respected by those who do not walk in my shoes, yet who seek to change my path.
I’ve given up every minute of the day to make my children’s lives better. I’ve spent countless dollars and as many hours making sure their needs are met- often at the expense of my own. I’ve woken at 3am thinking about them and wanting to make her they are safe, that they are ok. Every single day, I’ve given them my lunch, my heart, my smiles, and my tears.
I do it because each and every one of them is mine.
They are my children.
And I? I am their teacher.
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