February 4, 2015, Prescott- I spent several hours with restless twelve and thirteen-year-olds, during the course of this morning. Some of that time was spent guiding them through the worksheets which are the bane of an adolescent student’s existence. Another segment was spent addressing the illogical consequence of unimaginative lesson planning: The paper wad, shot by a rubber band. I was able to get the artillery brigades to stop, by pointing out that a hard-shot paper wad, in a classmate’s eye, has severe illogical consequences of its own. The regular teacher will have to change out the whole worksheet aspect. I had to learn that hard fact, in my own teaching, such as it was.
I visited a friend this evening, intending to only take an hour of her time, as she is even more insanely busy than I am. The visit extended to a light supper, two cups of coffee, and a fuller emptying of her languid cup, than I have been privy to in some time. Most of the details are irrelevant to a public post. One topic, however, to which I keep returning, out of my own personal ache on the matter, was a fair concern tonight.
Children who are discounted, or marginalized, by one or both parents- or worse, yet, not even acknowledged by one of their parents, are receiving one of the cruelest, most unusual punishments known to humanity. My friend has devoted everything to each of her children, as the best among us are wont to do, and consistently. I ache for a child who is discounted or unacknowledged by either parent. There is only so much I, a relative acquaintance, can do for such a child, but that little gets done, in making clear her value as a human being. She will survive and thrive, because her mother takes her seriously. The shame of an absent parent, however, lasts a lifetime.
I’m proud of my son, and see that he is made well aware of it, consistently. My friend does likewise, and a very special, multifaceted young woman is arising. The hole in her heart will heal, because she will not have to feel left out, or on the outskirts, of any occasion in which her devoted parent takes part. Once again, a child needs both parents.