Crayola and Elmer’s and Ticonderoga, oh my!

I’m up and envisioning the port working, tumor markers dropping to non existent levels, and all other organ counts being fantastic.

Quinn and his cousin are up too with some new fortnight episode. I took away video games and technology for a week, and Quinn was a happier and more calm kid. This morning is a special event, so he can make this memory. If only he got up this easy on school days.

The kids had a great day, super busy with friends while I just sat and supervised.

Did some more yoga last night and it was beautiful.

Read some things on Facebook and realized it looks like I and other teachers will be spending a lot of our own money to make sure all kids in our classes have Ticonderoga pencils and Elmer’s glue sticks. It happens every summer, and the posts begin about school supply lists.

Yes, after working and teaching for over twenty four years, we need that many pencils and glues and those brands are the best. Crayola crayons work way better than the rose art.

The animosity towards children and teachers is surprising, but not.

We are in a room together for a whole year. I don’t care where you come from, if you are in my room, you are my responsibility. If your parents don’t have the funds to send in basic supplies, there is no way I’m going to have you go without.

This country has an immigration issue. However, the children have absolutely no say in where their parents take them. I will never, ever, ever, make a child feel less than others because of anything in their life. I couldn’t imagine the journey these young kids have had to endure. I’ve heard stories of their lives before coming here, and my stomach dropped imagining the events that led them to come. I thanked God I was born here.

Taxes are high, yes.

Overcrowding is an issue, yes.

Scandals and drama are ongoing, yes.

Children with language needs are flooding in, yes.

Go out and vote.

Go to Board of Ed meetings.

Volunteer and get to know these children. They are just as amazing as yours.

Teachers and children spend all day together writing with pencils, making crafts with glue sticks, and coloring with crayons. The kids don’t care what language another kid speaks, as long as they are nice, they share their crayons and glue sticks in a heartbeat. We teach the kids that “sharing is caring”.

Teachers also ask for a yearlong supply because everything is on sale in July and August. And yes, pre-sharpened pencils are lifesavers. You think it’s a pain to sharpen thirty pencils in the summer? Try sharpening pencils all day long for twenty something kids. Even the pre-sharpened pencil eventually wears down and needs sharpening.

Parents can’t wait for school to start, I see posts about kids not listening at home, summer camps are expensive. Parents rejoice when school starts.

Teachers meanwhile are scouring dollar stores for deals, buying up supplies for those who don’t have any, going into classrooms to set up while on vacation so the kids come in and have all they need and an environment that’s safe.

I’m not looking for debate here. I’ve seen enough. I cant believe that on the morning of a stage four cancer hospital visit where my last visit had a tumor marker higher than one of my specialists has ever seen…I’m more upset about comments I’ve read about teachers and children.

And so I breathe.

I send more love to my good cells, and to the children who have endured more hardship in their few years than many have in their whole lives. Confidentiality is key, but I’ve heard stories that have stayed with me for years. Jesus said let the children come to me.

If he was here, he would turn twigs into presharpened Ticonderoga pencils.

I wish all of these families had countries that were safe and they could stay with their families and live in their homelands. Guess what? They all do too. People leave where they live because of safety and opportunity. I read an article yesterday where families who have lived in the east end are moving down south because they can’t afford it up here anymore. Imagine if North Carolina residents treated those moving there with the same side eyes? People go where they can get a better life. Of course, they wish they could stay where they were born. We all do. But of my child was in danger of being kidnapped or raped or killed, you bet I would leave with the clothes on my back. (And yes, that’s a true story.)

I get the frustration. I buy supplies for my own three kids, and then for kids in my classroom who come without. I’m also spending a ton of money of cancer treatments. If anyone has a right to say, “I’m done”, it would be me.

But what we give, we receive.

Today may my port work and my blood flow like a peaceful river out of the tube that sticks out from my chest. May my tumor markers drop drastically and hope rise.

And May those who have, open their hearts to the children.

In Jesus’s name, amen.

Xoxo

Keri

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