Today I was in the cafeteria during third-grade lunch. I sat next to a little girl who I never really talked to before. I couldn't help but notice that her school lunch looked pretty yummy- ...nachos with a side of black beans. She was eating the black beans one by one and I wanted to know what else she liked. I told her it reminded me of my Friday night dinners at my favorite Mexican Restaurant. I asked her what kind of food she liked. I did not expect the answer that she gave...and I am still in awe of this amazing little girl.
She was quick to respond that she didn't like a lot of food and then she told me why. She said that she was a foster child at age 4 (she remembered it was October) and before she went into foster care all her mom gave her to eat was macaroni and cheese and hot dogs. That is all she can ever remember eating. She was adopted a few years later by her foster mom. She told me about the other children that live with her...their ages, whether they go to school, work or go to college and how much she likes driving 7 hours to their house in Maine in the summer.
This little girl was my sign today. She reminded me of the power of relationships...the power of taking the time to sit down next to a student and giving them all of your attention and love. She opened up to me and she was the gift and motivation I needed today. She is the true definition of bravery. I am so grateful to have connected with her today.