Friday, January 15, 2016

The Power of Showing Up

Since August, I have been showing up twice a week to read with a little boy at the kids' school. He is not in their grade, but his teacher and I thought maybe he just needed a person. When we met, he had very little English and never said a word. In December, I started checking in every day with a little girl in the same class who has seen more of life than any one her age should. When we came back in January, I started taking a book every morning. I read or chat or whatever with both kids every morning.

This week, they had a class performance, and they both asked me to come. The little girl asked, "Will you be my person? I'm tired of not have a person."

And my heart broke. And you better believe I cleared my calendar. As I sat there yesterday watching my adopted kiddos dance, I couldn't have been more proud. I even got a little teary.

This morning, my boy interrupted my reading to make a paragraph long connection to the text. I couldn't have been more thrilled.

Here's the deal: I am nothing special. I haven't done anything dramatic. And I certainly won't take credit for the growth I'm seeing in these two kiddos. I'm watching their teacher work miracles every single day.

But...I absolutely believe just showing up makes a difference. Having a grown up who doesn't have to be there but chooses to show up--even when the child is evil--makes such a huge difference. There are no performance expectations. No real rules. Kids just sometimes need a person, and I am very good at being a person.

So, I'll keep showing up. And my heart will probably break into a million pieces at the end of the year when I say goodbye for the summer. But, I will still be a person next year, and I hope I can keep showing up.

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