TaShy is 9 years old. She loves playing video games, being loud, and trying to convince me to make her coffee. Her sister, MaShari, is 14. MaShari is a freshman in high school but reads at the equivalent of a 6th grader. They come up to our apartment and hang out, do homework and chill. Other then deciding on my outfit, trying to help MaShari with writing/reading comprehension is the most challenging part of my day. She gets frustrated very easily, throws her pencil, covers her face and says she can’t do it. She says she is stupid and is embarrassed.
She is not stupid. She is smart, pretty and kind.
What we say to people matters. The little, joking, spiteful remarks we mutter when angry,
yeah they matter.
Especially to children.
I hate that she covers her face. I am constantly pulling her hands away and re-adjusting her focus. She needs to hear that she is intelligent and she needs to believe it.
I repeat, you give up on yourself WAY before anyone else gives up on you.
I am not annoyed when she mispells a word, it doesnt bother me at all. she is annoyed, she gets frustrated and discourgaes herself. It is no surprise, we are usually our biggest problem.
And we are our greatest solution.
I hate that the girls mom smokes cigarettes in the house. That their dad yells and calls them stupid, dumbass motherfuckers. I hate that MaShari covers her face in front of me. But more than anything I hate that this is not uncommon. That this is a reality for many children, and a reflection of a deeper issue.
Life is not about trying to change the world and fix every social injustice. Your life is about being real to the people that God has placed in it, about loving and being loved by those people. It’s about understanding your specific, unique role in this amazingly fucked up, heartbreaking world.
You do what you can.