Thank you to our friend, Kari G., for this touching blog about human kindness.
“She walked in the door, first thing this morning, with mutiny in her eyes.
It was patently obvious that her day was off to a rough start…..so I pulled her aside for a chat as my student teacher began the lesson. She stormed out of the room and threw herself down on the hallway floor, in tears. I sat down next to her on the floor and waited.
She is new to this classroom, having been transferred from another room due to behavioral issues, and I don’t know her well. She was clearly dressed in Christmas finery….purple from head to toe, tags still visible on the pants to prove to observers that they were new and not second hand. I looked at her shoes……brand new, sparkly purple and silver Vans…..but something was odd. She was stepping on the heels, pressing them down, as though they were slides.
New shoes are a Big Event in a child’s world. Usually, the first scuff will bring distress. I asked if something was wrong. “They won’t go on my feet!” she sobbed. “They’re new and they HURT!” It was the first day she was allowed to wear her special shoes, and they quite literally would not fit on her feet. She was beside herself…..and is not a girl who has much control on the best of days. And, honestly….a girl with gorgeous new shoes that DO NOT FIT? The Cinderella story is all about the shoes, and how they transform the girl, after all.
She told me where her Mom had bought the shoes, and not knowing what else to do, I called the store and explained. They had a pair one size bigger, and agreed to hold them for me until closing. I called Mom……who doesn’t like calls from school, for they happen, all too often, to bring news of misbehavior. At first she thought I was calling to complain. “I am not coming up there to bring her different shoes! She should have changed them!” But when she understood I was calling to ask her permission to exchange the shoes for her, she brought box, receipt, and a spare pair of shoes for her daughter to wear in the meantime.
Tomorrow morning, this girl will have new shoes that fit. I live 5 minutes from the store…..it’s a 25 minute drive for this family, 50 minutes round trip, and Mom works from 2 until 10 pm. It was such an easy thing for me to do…..I was going there to exchange a shirt for Rod, anyway. But hopefully, oh, hopefully….. by doing this one small thing, I have made a tentative bond with this very troubled child…..and her family.”
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