This week, my heart was broken in two. A little first grade girl that I love and adore had her head buzzed in response to head lice. According to the mom the child asked to have it cut so short because she didn't want her mom pulling her hair to get the nits out. The child's story is different, but it doesn't really matter. She appeared at school, "looking like a boy," the bus kids said. But that's not the story I want to tell.
The story I want to tell is what happened in our little community... The news spread quickly as adults who knew this child were horrified that a parent would shave a little girl's head because of head lice! I was in a meeting that morning and before I got back to class, Julie and KK had transpired to make her four of the cutest little flower and glitter headbands you have ever seen. They brought her down to the Office, let her try them on, and paraded her through the Office as the Principal and office staff ohh-ed and ahh-ed about how beautiful she looked. She was shy at first but basked in the attention. The next morning Melanie sent a handful of headbands that she had gathered from her daughter's closet. We allowed our little munchkin to choose from one of the colorful new hair accessories that morning, and you should have seen the sparkle in her eyes! She really walked with a new confidence all day! And her work - more focused, better handwriting, more engaged! Christy brought down a large bag of the cutest new tee-shirts and shorts. Melanie brought new jeans. When we showed her the large bag to take home, her eyes got so big, they nearly popped out of her head! Tracy measured her foot so she could get her a new pair of shoes. I don't think I have ever seen her in a new pair of shoes.
|Marissa, a former Creeker|
Who does this? Where else would this happen? I wanted to tell this story because it illustrates the heart of our community. I didn't go around shouting this story when tears filled my eyes when I first saw my little munchkin. In fact, just a small handful of adults who have a relationship with this child noticed the change, but those people didn't just talk, they jumped into action. I think I work with some of the MOST giving and loving people... who really walk the talk. I know there are educators doing this sort of work - mission work - all over the country, but I feel blessed to work in a place where this is a daily occurrence. To each of you out there who cares enough to invest yourself in the life of a child, and especially to my Creeker comrades who always rise to the occassion, my heartfelt thank you. Thank you... for making a difference...