A Child, Just a Child

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I was shopping for Connor at Kohl’s, looking for clearenced clothing for this year or the next; I wasn’t being picky. Then in the racks picked clean, were leftover St.Patrick’s Day shirts and this shirt in abundance. It says, as I am sure you can see, Tax Deduction.

It’s true you get about $3,000ish for having a child, I don’t know if that’s per child, from the Government. I know that because once Turbo Tax found I got married in June of last year, bam! This deduction for having children popped up.

I know children that are labeled, as these shirts are. We can all pretend at school that it is not true. That momma skips open house because she’s working. We can pretend, that I have to supply notebooks, pencils, reeds (teacher of band I am), allow them to borrow lotion, and Maxi pads every month for days; because mom or dad accidentally forgot. Again.

We can pretend, that your daughter is tired from using her fifth grade hands, to rock your baby to sleep at night, instead of doing her homework; because you two watched a movie together, but really you went out. Again.

Yeah, I am harsh. Maybe I don’t know the whole story. Maybe my educationally privileged, white, green eyes don’t see, and can’t comprehend your life.

But your kids, tell me about it. They share with me how they are, “mommas check.” They tell me with such pride at first, and I listen and congratulate them on being a great helper. Then they grow, and become jaded and harder to reach, because something is missing and I can’t fill it; and it makes them mad. They get this look in their eye that says, “I don’t need you to love me.” When just last year, I was giving them band aids and listening to their hurts.

I didn’t change.

As the years pass, and they grow, I teach Encore,so I see them and teach them every year, and I do see them grow. I hear them tell their friends that they now demand part of their, “pay check” and use it on things they don’t need. Which they really know that a Galaxy 5s can’t give them the love that they want.

So they go looking for that love, in the cracks of that old town, and they find shadows of it; and because they’ve always only been a tax deduction to you, they think, “this is love.” When they could have held out for that , all-encompassing-warmth-to-their-toes, happiness.

But they don’t. They can’t see it. All their worth has been summed up in the dollars they are and then, they cannot be deducted from your life anymore.

And maybe then you realize, as you sit alone at night and they don’t come home, or maybe, while you finally rock a baby that is not your own with your hands, that maybe, maybe something could have been different.

But what do I know? After all I am just a white, privileged in education, teacher, who was forced to watch it all go down with my green eyes. What the hell do I know?

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