“With great super powers, come great responsibility.”
Yesterday, we had a minor heartbreak at school. One of our students has been expecting to see his dad soon. His dad has been in and out of rehab, and U. has moved in with his mom and step-dad this year as his dad is unable to take care of him and his own issues at the same time. U. came in quite excited on Monday and said his dad would be picking him up. At the end of the day we got a phone call that his dad would not be coming and he needed to take the bus. He left quickly, saying that he would probably get to see him the next day.
Tuesday, U. came to school with a plastic shopping bag all packed up with things he’d need for an overnight stay with his dad. He talked all day about how he’d be staying with his dad that night. He referred to it nearly constantly.
The end of the day came. Dad had not arrived. U. called him. No answer. He called again about one minute later. No answer. He stood on the picnic table, straining his neck, looking for his dad. Called again and again. The school bus came and went. A few more calls. Then a call to his mom asking where his dad was. I could only hear his side of the conversation:
“No, mom. He’ll come. I know he’ll come. Please. Let me try one more time. I know he’ll come.”
More calls to dad with no answer. Another call to mom with a mumbled conversation. Then, he muttered to me, “Gotta meet my mom out front, bye.”
This morning U. is absent. His mom emailed and said he had “a cough.” My heart hurts for him, but I know he needs to believe we don’t know what happened. When he comes back, he will probably be a turkey to re-establish his control of the situation, and then we will move on.
These kids come to us with a lot of hurt. They handle it with varying levels of skill, and we need to try to help them soak up the hurts and move on. Ouch.