Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Way Things Are

"Little children, let us love, neither in word nor with the tongue, but in deed and truth."  1 John 3:18

I volunteer in my son's kindergarten classroom on Thursday afternoons.  Last week, their teacher made each student an ornament with their name on it and hung it on the classroom Christmas tree.  She told them they could take them home before Christmas and put them on their own trees at home.  One little boy told her, "You can keep my ornament here on this tree.  We won't have one at home.  We can't 'ford it."  The little boy is being raised by a single mother, and he has three siblings.  This broke the teacher's heart, and she went out and bought the family one of those pretty tabletop LED lighted trees.  All of the students were very supportive and were happy that the boy was getting a Christmas tree from the teacher.  

I just found out today that one little girl in the kindergarten class lives in a homeless shelter with her mother.  The mother has no car, and the girl can't take the bus since they move from shelter to shelter.  So, the mother sends the girl to school in a cab when she can't find someone to drive her to school.  

There are many children in the same types of situations in our school.  The teachers and staff at the school recently donated new and used coats for needy families.  And they also opened a small "store" for these children to go "shopping" for gifts for their families.  I love our school.  

You all know from a previous post that there is a little boy in my daughter's class who had been physically abused by his father who is now in jail.  There is also a little girl in that class whose father is serving in Iraq and will not be home for Christmas this year.  He wasn't home for Christmas last year either.  The little girl told the class that she is very fearful because her father's best friend was killed over there.  

I am so grateful that my children are being exposed to people from all backgrounds and walks of life and that they have such wonderful role models in their teachers.  I believe it will help them grow up to have empathy, tolerance and respect for all people.  And it kind of puts things in perspective - especially at this time of year.    

"I feel you Christmas.  I know I've found you.  You never fade away.  The joy of Christmas stays here inside us.  Fills each and every heart with love."  Lyrics from "Where are you Christmas?" by Faith Hill  

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