Tuesday, August 4, 2009

First days

School has begun!

And it's weird. And good.

Freshmen are strange little people-- already at an incredibly awkward age, add this huge transition and they're even funnier.

I'm sleepy so I won't write too much, but I wanted to tell you about telling the kids about Ben.

I did exactly as I planned-- during introductions, I told them that I wanted to tell them something sad, but something that was important (I should add that this portion of class was very short. We only talked about Ben for a couple of minutes-- no more than one or two). I waited until the very end of my introduction-- I told them happy things and then told them this one very sad thing. Their responses have been so interesting. For one thing, I feel pretty certain that many of them already knew (b/c of having older siblings). That was nice, honestly. They were looking at me with such tenderness and sympathy as I was talking to them, before I told them what happened.

For the rest of them, their first response is mild shock-- a collective gasp and then the precious young teenager "Awww...." I don't know if you know any teenagers, but I've heard this expression of sympathy before-- there is a thing inside teenagers that somehow honestly feels for people. It doesn't show up all the time or in all situations, but when it does, it's uniquely...heavy. Beautifully heavy.

I asked them if they had any questions. Several shared that their moms had lost babies, either in childbirth or during pregnancy. Others shared that they had lost siblings or cousins to accidents or sickness. It was honestly one of the most fascinating "get to know you" first days I have ever experienced. It was not sad or depressing, but it was very real. I think they wondered about the fact that I did not cry as I shared with them (though I almost did yesterday). A couple asked me if this was my first baby and if I wanted to have more.

I loved how real their questions were, and how respectful. These children do not know me, and I do not know them yet, but they blessed me.

And while I have them to thank for that, somehow everything inside me only wants to praise Jesus.


Andrea said...

Praying strength for you-glad you shared your heart-children always rise to your expectations...you always have...Your MAMA is proud of you.

J Andersen said...

Sounds like those kids are in a great position to now open up with one another and be real with each other as the year goes on. So exciting!