And then there are days at work that are terrible–not because my coworkers are frustrating, not because kids won’t listen and talk back, and not because I’m disappointed with my own performance.
No, there are days, afternoons, moments that are terrible because a fifth grade boy, in the middle of his homework, says, bluntly, that he thinks that God hates him.
And that’s when I realize in one overwhelming flood of emotion what I’m really up against this year. It’s not math homework and standardized tests. It’s a world that makes these kids think that they’re stupid, that they aren’t valuable, and that they aren’t loved; a world that’s so discouraging and cold that a boy who has so much potential can’t see a glimpse of it.
And those are the moments that I realize that the best thing I can do for these kids is just to love them. If they can walk out of this program on the last day of the school year and know that they were loved and valued at Casserly House, no matter what else happens, I’m calling this year a success.