Sep 16, 2010

my wish for my daughter

A student I taught last semester came into my room during lunch today and asked if he could sit and read.

It's too loud out there, he said. 

Sure, I said.  I didn't think much about it at all.  He's a good kid, funny, charming, genuinely nice.  Are you studying for something, I asked.  Really, I was only trying to make small talk.  I'm bad at that.

I'm reading this, he said and held up his Bible. 

And so he sat for 25 minutes, reading and writing in a small notebook, enjoying the quiet.

There are times when I despair for the direction of the world, especially now that I have my own daughter.  How do we keep her safe, guard her heart, protect her innocence, build her confidence, inspire her creativity, encourage her intellect?  I see a lot of teenagers and hear a lot of stories, from kids and from adults, and it hurts my heart to know how much they have been through in such a brief existence as a result of their own myopic choices or from an adult's neglect.  It's heartbreaking to ask a mom about her son's attendance at open house and watch her eyes fill with tears, breaking the mask.  Life is tough, and being a parent is tougher.  Because of the things we can't control.

But then there are moments that renew and humble me.  Even in the world of public high school, there are those who hold fast to truth and seek wisdom.  In a quiet classroom.

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