Friday, December 10, 2010

Kids With Kids

by Jan Shoop
It was after 5:00 and I had been at StarShine since before 7:00, my usual routine. The day had started out fine with visitors, parent meetings, skinned knees, and student visits. I thought I had things in control for the holidays. A party was planned for all the students on the last day before the holiday break, including Santa bringing gifts and lunch for everyone. Then my perfect world fell apart.
I was sitting in my office when the door opened and one of the high school girls walked in to talk. She said she did not have money to buy Christmas gifts for her children and wanted to know if I could help. I just sat there kind of dumfounded. I thought I had considered everything to make the holiday happy for the students, but here I was with a student needing Christmas gifts for her children. She was not just a high school student struggling to get through the day to day dealings of classes, friends, and growing up; she was also a mother with children of her own. I immediately thought of her as a “kid with kids.” I told her I’d see what I could do. I realized then that she was not the only student in the school in this situation. We had several other “kids with kids.”
As I got in my car the weight of the day was on my shoulders and the worry of this student and the others was heavy in my heart. I drove out of the parking lot and got on the freeway headed home. I realized that the person I needed to talk to was my mom. At the time I was 49 and it may seem strange to call your mom at that age, but it was the most natural thing for me to do. When the world is overwhelming and all else fails, call your mom. She answered immediately and asked me how my day was and that’s when I burst into tears. I told her about my “kids with kids.” Being very practical and always ready with help and a kind word mom said, “Let me talk to the church and we’ll find some gifts for your “kids with kids.” I took a big breathe and breathed a sigh of relief knowing all would be well.
The next day mom called, she had already rallied her church members. They decided to have a secret Santa at the church the next Sunday for my “kids with kids.” I gave her a list of the five girls who had children and we were off and running.
Two weeks later mom and her church ladies arrived at school with a car full of Christmas gifts. They were wonderful, generous gifts and the girls were in shock. I don’t think they had ever had a Christmas like that.
Remember that during this time of year there are many children and families that will go without; that could use a helping hand. Please remember this and help in any way you can.
And if you ever have a day when the weight of the world is on your shoulders, call your mom.
Have a happy and peaceful holiday.