I have worked at the school for 3 school years. In that time, I've watched a little boy named, Logan, struggle. Logan was a kindergartener when I first met him. He has some issues with attention-deficit disorder and hyper-activity. I remember that he had special permission to sit on his foot, because it calmed him down. All the other kids have to sit on their bottoms. This is a safety thing - I've seen kids go over backward before, not sure why sitting on the bench is such a challenge.
Logan did really well in the first grade. He looked like he had some friends and he was able to sit calmly and eat his lunch. He didn't get in trouble. He did have some scary stories to tell, though. Like the time he told me that his little sister was missing for days because her daddy took her and disappeared. Or how when there was a big fire up in the canyon where he lived, his mom drove around the barricades and headed back into the smoke.
Lately, he looks very tired and he does things like beat trees with sticks when he's out at recess. He's angry. I've worked with a lot of kids and for some reason, Logan has my heart. I've always wished that I could take him home and raise him with my kids. I want to clean him up and give him shoes that fit.
Logan was sick today, but he was afraid to go to the health office because his mom told him that if she had to come into town to get him, he'd be locked in his bedroom. He told this to my co-worker when she made him go over to get his temperature taken. He came in to get lunch late, after everyone was gone. The nurse was letting him rest, not calling him mom.
The school year is almost over and I worry about some of these kids and how their lives are going to change during the summer. Are they getting enough to eat? Are they safe? Is anyone out there watching out for them. I sure hope so, because once they go beyond those gates, there's only so much I can do to help.