Friday, October 1, 2010

Uniquely Qualified

Another (much younger) coach has asked me “Why do you have all of the difficult kids in your classes?”  OK, they said “headcases” but well, I thought I’d pretty it up a bit.  The easy answer is that I am obviously older and more mature, that’s why I don't mind dealing them.
Ha! I may be older but more mature? Maybe not so much. What I tell the parents of these kids, when they ask how I get these kids to do what they do with me? “Well, I have 3 occasionally high maintenance kids of my own.”
While that is true, it is not the whole truth.  The whole truth is that the years that I spent as a Ward-of-the-State, in various shelters, institutions, group homes and foster homes have uniquely prepared me to be able to handle any manor of “headcase.” 
Give me your ADD/ADHD, your OCD, your Depressed, your Anxious, your Selective Mute and your Attachment Disordered – no problem!  Autism, Aspergers, Tourette Syndrome- I scoff at you. You are no match for me. I haven’t coached you yet, but Borderline Personalities, Schizophrenia- I know your voice(s) when you hear them. Dissociative Disorder, I know who you are. You don’t scare me! I welcome you with open arms.
My stint in foster care has rendered me incapable of judging even one single child as un-coachable, un-teachable or un-lovable.  Foster care has made it impossible for me to write any kid off, as not worth the effort. 
So I will remind you not to poke at the person next to you and not to wander away.  I will put my hand gently on your shoulder so you can FOCUS ON WHAT I AM SAYING.  I will remember that I have to watch you because you won't call my name when you get to the top of the rope.  We can wait for you to finish that tic or perform that ritual.  I will assure you that your mommy will be right back, ‘cause, honestly, she will.  I will tell you that voice that says, “I can’t” is lying and not real, again.  Then you can get up here and take your turn, and do what you came here to do. 
I’ll clap, I’ll frown, I’ll roll my eyes and say, “really, that’s all you’ve got?” I’ll hug you and yell “Yea!”  I’ll love you, each of you, like you are my very own.  I will take you, have them put you in my class, yep, I will!
“Those headcases, they are MY KIDS and I am damn proud to have them!” 
Photos : my natural kids playing at Open Gym


Linda said...

The world needs more people with your attitude!!

Sunday Kofffon Taylor said...

That is so sweet of you to say. If you had ever seen me get all old school on someone you might not think so. LOL.

But seriously it seems like there is no end to the things adults are willing to write kids off for. I don’t think adults realize just how cruel that can be. Maybe it is something you have to have experience to understand.


This post made me tear up. I feel exactly the same way in terms of giving kids (and adults) more of a chance. We are all reachable if you try and care. Every child deserves love.


I don't like a person calling little kids headcases!

Sunday Kofffon Taylor said...

Yeah, I know, I agree, I think it was said with love, but I’m a bit of a head case myself. In my case thankfully, for all the people who wrote me off, there were some that tried, with out them I would have never been able to become the person I am today.

Kitty said...

Sunday this gave me goose bumps when I was reading it. I think you are a very special person and I am so proud to call you family. Keep up the wonderful work you are doing with all those kids. Love you girl :-)

jodilee0123 said...

I wish you lived closer to here---my kiddos would be in your class! ;0) And let me tell you how awesome gymnastics has been for my son's sensory and motor skill disorders--and my daughter's energy and no impulse control issue. They are not always the best behaved in class...or best skills--but I believe they do their very best! What a fun job you have!

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