Each day in the second grade class in which I work, the teacher goes around the room and asks the students if there is anything they are concerned about. The hands quickly shoot up and they begin talking about their problems.
Here is an example of some of the things they’ve mentioned lately:
“My arm is scratched, because I was playing basketball with my sister and ran into a brick wall.”
“My puppy is sick.”
“We’re moving to a new house.”
“I had a hard time waking up this morning.”
“My brother has a swim-meet this weekend and I hope he does well.”
Then the teacher calls on me and here are some of the things I have said (okay, wanted to say…I don’t want to traumatize anyone) in the last couple of weeks:
“Out of my sister’s four best friends, three of them have been diagnosed with breast cancer. The third one just got the news.”
“My mom is being sued for money which is rightfully hers and was left for her in the will of a man with sound mind, who she nursed through his sickness and death for 12 years. Who’s suing? The daughter who never came to visit him.”
“I am in a continuing battle with health insurance and our county over medications and therapy that my son needs, but no one seems to want to pay for.”
“My husband is working 16 hour days to support us and we never see him anymore.”
“I haven’t slept well in over 10 years.”
And what I’ve learned from this little exercise in reflection and sharing, is that I really wish I was seven again.