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Back-To-School Blues

Every year, when the back-to-school ads begin to pop up, a sort of sadness sweeps over me. It's not what you think. Of course I miss having the girls here with me, but they really love school, so I am happy for them when it's time to go back. The sadness comes from remembering my own childhood and some of the issues my siblings and I dealt with, while trying to attend school and keep up our grades, which we did by some miracle. It comes from knowing that there are kids out there, right now, enduring the same things. I feel so bad for them...

Somewhere this coming school year...

There will be a child who won't know the thrill of being the first one to color with a new box of crayons or the beautiful bright white of the pages of a brand new composition book, because their parents couldn't afford supplies.

There will be a child who won't be able to concentrate because they are afraid their sick father might pass away before she gets home that day.

There will be a child who wins the spelling bee, whose mother did not even take the time to come watch.

There will be a child whose only meal each day is the free breakfast and lunch that she gets at school. Who feels guilty for eating. Who slips some of the food into her pocket to take home to her younger brother.

There will be a child who got her first pair of designer shoes from a church charity bag. They are two sizes too small. So she wears them with her toes curled under. The pain is nearly unbearable. She just wants to be like the other kids.

There will be a child that gets yelled at by the teacher for not completing homework. She's too ashamed to tell that it's because she can't afford notebook paper, until after the 1st of the month.

There's the child who never has enough money for the ice cream snack each afternoon. She lies and tells the other kids that she is allergic to ice cream.

There's the child that keeps her stomach sucked in all day, because she think she is fat. She is only in the 5th grade.

There will be a child whose "What I Did This Summer" essay will be a total work of fiction. Because, if she told what really happened, the social workers would come take her away. She thinks that maybe that wouldn't be so bad, but she doesn't want to risk being separated from her brothers and sisters.

There's the kid who keeps dozing off in class because the partying at her house usually doesn't end until the wee hours of the morning.

There's the child who will wait outside her house for hours each afternoon, until someone else comes home, because she doesn't want to be alone in the house with her molester.

There's the child who never goes on field trips or to school functions because she can't afford the fees.

There's the child being kept in from recess for not turning in her school picture money. She can't turn in the pictures because her mama has already passed them out to family and friends. She dreads being asked for the money each morning. She's running out of excuses.

There's the kid that never gets anything from the book fair or from book orders. She stopped asking Mama for money for such things because Mama "ain't made of money dammit!" The day the R.I.F. truck comes to school is like Christmas!

There's the kid that's walking with a limp because she innocently let the neighbor's wife come in the night before, not knowing that her husband was making out with Mama in the back room. The resulting fight was her fault. Mama sent her to bed that night, but woke her up early, so she could beat the hell out of her with a belt, for causing so much trouble.

There's the kid who never gets new clothes. Not even at the beginning of the school year or for Christmas. The other kids at school point and make fun of her outdated clothes.

There's the kid who gets straight A's but never even imagines graduating high school or going to college, because nobody has ever even mentioned that they expect her too. Her mother has never said she was proud of her.

There's the kid who never hears "I Love You."

There's the kid who tells herself lies about how she will run away or kill herself tomorrow, just so she can go to sleep that night. She never does.

No matter how normal everything seems. These kids are there. Going to school with my kids. Going to school with your kids. I wonder if they can feel that I am out her thinking about them. I wonder if they can feel that someone cares.


  1. That's so so sad. And I know it's true. My kids have been the kids with no money for field trips or no money for their gym uniform until after the 3rd of the month. My son is ashamed of getting free lunch and would go for weeks without eating lunch until someone from the office called me and we had a little pow wow with him about how no one has any way of knowing. All this because their dad is a loser who isn't meeting his financial responsibilities. My son needs new shirts for school because he's grown so tall and his shirts aren't long enough, not to mention they are old and all the kids in his freshman class will have all name brand new clothes. It's mortifying to me that his dad is like this and I do my best, but being that I can't work, my money only goes so far.

    Why is it that these situations are because of at least 1 bad parent?

    I feel bad for the kids who are abused too. They have it much worse.

  2. Bless his heart and yours too, HUGS. I remember well, not eating at school as a kid, because I got free lunch and the kids would make fun of me. They really did make it obvious back then, having the kids that got free lunch come to the office on Mondays and pick up special lunch tickets that they had to turn in each day, while going through the lunch line. At another point, I lived with some cousins of mine, the got a SS check for me each month and blowed it all on camera equiptment and motorcycles etc... They did not apply for free lunch for me. But they also didn't buy anything for me to pack or give me money to take to school. I was starving for a long time. Finally, I just became anorexic at 12. It was really easy as nobody seemed to care whether I ate or not.

    I never got new clothes at school start either. It was really hard as the kids that did have money for designer clothes would mock me like crazy. People can believe whatever they like but truth is, some kids are just plain mean and hurtful. My kids know that if I ever should catch them mocking another child for having less, their stuff will be taken away, and they will attend school the rest of the year in the ugliest stuff I can buy them at Goodwill

  3. This is true Cota and I both new from the time that we started school that if we EVER made fun of another kid we would get 3 outfits straight from a Brady Bunch re-run and that was all we would wear.

  4. Hi hon, I'm looking forward to reading your posts but I'm going to have to cut and paste them as your background (the pink edges) is the sort that vibrates on my screen which means I can't look directly at your page and I wanna! ;O) Stopping by from SITS. x


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