Wow....what a beautiful story....sounds like a scene from a norman rockwell painting. I grew up with a family that usually had enough food, rarely anything fancy, but enough to live on. Instead of finding ways to make it fun, it was just sit, shut up, eat, and clean your plate...the only fun was....well...lacking. One reason Why I strive to make the lives better for my kids, give them an outlet to talk and be heard, which I'm finding, they are rarely heard. Their opinion is not important and often ridiculed. I give them the chance to voice an opinion, right or wrong, they voice it...and then they learn to defend it....an effort to develop critical thinking. And to do it without violence or being mean to each other.
Your story reminds of the lipstick story from before.....find a way to reach the child, talk in their language, in ways that they understand, and boom.....they will often do right.
For many of my kids...I try to develop a sense of caring, compassion, for some....a conscience. It is so easy to be mean, hurtful, destructive. I want to instill love....but I will take a reduction of hate for some of them....anything to create positive movement.
So often, I feel like I save one, to see 20 fall off the cliff. Yes...I made a difference to that one, but it is a drop in the bucket....I want to do more, help more, be more successful, and when I see them at school, I see the progress...then they leave and return to the toxic home environment. I only see them for a few hours a day...how can I change a life with just that?
An example is my girl we have talked about before....there was only so much I could do....she had to live in the neighborhood, see those kids before and after school and on weekends....the pull of those friends and her pain, torment, and confusion were too much for me to overcome. She holds it together in class, but mainly because of her skill and intelligence. But after school, lunch, breakfast, weekends....she is using inhalants, pot, speed, whatever they give her, then off with some friends to meet some guys for random sex, just to have a few moments of escape. Then, because of the guilt, she needs more drugs and repeats the cycle. It finally hit me...even though I identify with her, I need to just move on, continue to pray for her, but let go. Another one to fall off the cliff while I just helplessly watch. And that is what hurts so deeply...that powerless feeling and no where to turn.