Monday, April 13, 2009

let the little children come unto me...

So very often I am reminded of the very scary reality that the kids we raise/babysit/teach are in our care, and also, that the time we spend with them is infused with a trust that we know how to take care of them. Today, I was running a rehearsal with the entire 4th grade, most of them up on the (rather low) risers in our all-purpose room. We have an important concert this coming Thursday, and we have a couple hard songs that desperately needed practice.

The students were very well-behaved, all things considered. Take into consideration, for example, that we had more than a dozen percussion instruments playing during one song. Take into consideration that we only had 20 minutes to practice once they got set on the risers. And take into consideration the student who blacked out and fell off the back of the risers in the middle of the second song.

Yes, I had a minor casualty today during my chorus rehearsal...the 4th grade boy fell off the risers with a resounding "Boom!" and was not concious when he was first reached. When he did come to, he was not himself, and had an irregular heartbeat. The ambulance was called, his mother (who was frantic!) rushed over, and he was loaded into the ambulance. I have since found out that he is ok, it was a case of him doing too much this week so far (three sports started this week) and not eating enough at breakfast and lunch.

And probably the fact that he was squished on a high riser next to 80 other 4th graders in a hot all-purpose room with his knees locked. That was the straw that broke his back...although he did not break his back, praise the LORD.

Needless to say, I was quite upset, and trying to stay calm. Many other teachers were in the rehearsal with me, and were able to get help, but still a scary situation. This kid has always been a hard case for me - sarcastic, edgy, and distant in class. It was weird to see all those defenses come down and see him really scared. And he was.

As teachers, we are entrusted with these children...and as parents, it is scary to think of someone else watching our kid if something happens. But, our kids will usually have other people watching them, and we need to be able to let them go and trust God that He knows their every day. I can't imagine being that students mother and getting the call that he is getting loaded into an ambulance and can you meet us at the hospital? And the look in that kid's eyes as he watched us all watch over him - until the perimedics got there - was beyond words. He was terrified and trying to trust us that it would be ok. What an awesome responsibility we have to children to help them feel safe, even if we don't always know what to do, or what the answer is. Sometimes I am really scared of when Jeremiah starts talking and reasoning and thinking more like a child, then an adolescent, then an adult...how will I answer him? How will I do this so I don't screw him up and make him need therapy to discover it's all my fault he is the way he is?

Ok, that's melodramatic, but I think any mother out there would admit to somewhat similar thoughts in her darker moments.

The answer is always God...but sometimes it's hard to remember that. God give me grace to watch over your little ones.

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