Thursday, March 01, 2007


I have quite a few kids that still suck their thumbs. They don't seem to feel any shame for it. They aren't embarrassed at all to be 16 and sucking their fingers in a High School classroom.

I imagine that those students just never had anyone tell them to stop sucking their fingers when they were little. No parent to consistently tell them to take their thumb out of their mouth. And so they continue to use it as a comfort.

Today I found out that one of my thumbsuckers, Candance, was pregnant. She has been pregnant for six months and I just didn't ever notice. She brought some ultrasound pictures to school and was passing them around. "Whose pictures are these?" I asked her "They're mine!" she said "Whose are they, really?" I asked again "I'm serious, those are mine!" She said. And then I looked at her stomach. There she was, six months pregnant. Why hadn't I noticed before? I guess I don't normally scan the classroom for pregnant bellies.

Candance is graduating this year. She is due mid May and graduation is in early June. "I guess you'll be coming to graduation with a baby, huh?" I said. "Yeah" she sighed. I asked her if she was scared. "Of course I'm scared" she said quietly.

Then she sucked her thumb.


Blogger nrakmom said...

wow-you are really IN it deep. I read your blog because a friend of yours is a friend of mine. I have to say i think you are awesome-all teachers are, and so are the kids. and then there are those kids that are so messed up/what can you do? I think it's brilliant to concentrate on a few, and let the rest go-it's rather scientific. I don't think you should feel guilty about that-of course you do and have a heart and it's painful and so horribly real. But it's so beautiful too. You are making a beautiful story with these kids and changing their lives in ways that you may never see. In big ways and little ways. The strength and love that you have to stay with them day after day dealing with their shit is perhaps more love and support than they have ever felt in their lives. You are doing that, you are loving them just by being there-it doesn't matter if you hug them or not. I have two children in school. Providing emotional and physical support for a child to thrive is an enormous/fabulous job but many parents are unequipped to handle the responsibilities-one of the many mysteries of life.
Rock on warrior woman. May all the gods and goddesses protect you and keep you strong.

12:23 PM  

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