be[ing] a spark

I totally wasn’t expecting this.  I got a Christmas present from my boss!DSCF5695

And the card [aside from being epic project (RED) and saving lives, since that is one of my favourite things ever] just hit me so, so much.

I work at a rough school.  A few of the kids in grade 3-5, use worse language than my friends used in grade nine [when we all swore the most, pretty sure].  I broke up a physical fight between two boys today when I was the only one in the gym, in the span of 3 minutes when my coworker Bethany was gone to the crafts room, and had to deal with them.  It sucked.  Because when I talked to them, we had a discussion about why they seemed to think it was okay to fight.

“Well, my step-dad hits my mom and they’re grown-ups.  And then one time he stabbed her with a knife over and over and over again.”

My heart just breaks sometimes.  It hurts that kids have to see this kind of stuff.  It hurts that kids have to think ‘if my parents do it, it must be okay’.  It hurts that kids are exposed to this kind of stuff at home, where they should feel safe and loved.  It hurts that some of these kids are so desperate for love.  Two kids simultaneously clung to my legs today.  A boy hugged me and didn’t want to let go.

This is my job.  To, with my coworkers, let these kids know that someone cares.  Let them know that someone cares enough to see that they, at least one day a week [all we’re funded for], have somewhere fun and positive to go after school.  Where they will not go home to an empty house, but get a snack and to talk to people, connect with friends, play some games, do a craft, and get a hug or two if that’s something they need.

We are the sparks that will hopefully IGNITE these kids—for some of them, to ignite them to see the good of the world beyond the pain they have seen in their young lives.

And as hard as it is, as much as work sucked today because the kids were crazy . . . this, this longing to be a spark . . . is why I am here.  A tiny thing, that can light a huge flame of motivation . . . of hope.


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