We are all alone in this world/from cradle to grave/and maybe after that. – Rhett Miller (Like Love)

A boy in my class keeps crying.  His shoulders shake, his nose runs, big wet tears fall on his desk. The other kids try not to notice. It’s quite a spectacle. He keeps telling me he misses his mom and wants to go home. I keep handing him tissues and saying that we’re just going to keep on working. Eventually the sobs subside and he resumes being a seven-year old boy vaguely interested in what we’re doing for a while and then he forgets he’s sad and he’s right in the fray. 

At recess today, he took himself to the office. He found someone to talk to. She brought him back to class and told me his family is having a hard time. I promised I’d take good care of him and after some more tears, he got back to work and forgot he was sad again.

 At the last recess I caught up with him and asked him what’s going on. He said his parents have been fighting and that his dad is going to move out. He also said that his dad has a car this time, so it’ll be better than last time. We sat down on the picnic benches in the semi-shade and chatted a bit more.

 I wondered aloud why he kept saying he missed his mom when it was his dad that was moving out. He told me it’s because he worries about her. My eyes teared up for a second. I asked him if he was the oldest kid in the family because I assumed he was taking it all in because he was the oldest. He reminded me that I had already met one of his older sisters and he went on to complain about how his older sisters were mean to him and his little brother.

 Right before he hopped up to play I reminded him we were going to have another chapter in the read aloud – Stone Fox. He just smiled and ran away.

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{for more rhett miller – click here}

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