I got an email the other day from my youngest daughter’s teacher about a “Cool U” interview with each student in class. Typical of my daughter not to say anything about this project until the last-minute! I didn’t see the blue sheet with details on it that the teacher sent home with all the students until today. I even went through photos I have stored on this laptop and emailed them to her.
Turns out that this project is asking for my daughter to take pictures of her home and neighborhood, pets or farm animals, favorite activities and family. Right off the bat, I see a problem. First of all, we’re homeless, do you want photos of a mini van that isn’t moving right now? Second of all, we have no pets and my eldest daughter doesn’t get “home” from school and after school activities until almost 8 pm. That leaves just the few photos I have on my laptop. Our favorite activities are to have enough food to eat, a warm and safe place to sleep and no harassment from the police. I’m sure the school would love to have my daughter post that to her entire class.
Of course, me being me, I will again contact this teacher (don’t get me wrong, I actually like her and think she does a great job) and let her know that this project highlights what most people take for granted. People don’t realize my girls don’t want their peers to know how they’ve been living. I will simply have to tell the school that if they can’t use the pictures I already sent then maybe my daughter doesn’t need to take part in this activity. Sure, the teacher gave my daughter a camera to use but it has no batteries and it’s not like I have the cash to buy any. I still have a transmission that needs to be replaced.
You know now that I think about it, this isnt’ the first time a situation like this came up. When the holiday season was here, my youngest was given a flyer about a holiday program being held in the school auditorium and the school was asking all the kids to wear their best holiday outfits. Well my daughter only has one dress and it is the one from two years ago that she wore to my grandmother’s funeral. She can barely fit it but she wanted to go so we went. My daughter takes violin at the school and sometimes they have recitals. Again, Maggie was sent “home” with another flyer asking all the kids to dress up and wear black and white. Needless to say, she didn’t go to that recital. Her dress has since been donated to a thrift store because she just can’t fit it anymore.
Even my teenager has to let things pass her by at high school if it costs money. I am proud of her though. She hasn’t given up looking for a job, even if it’s babysitting!
Little things like this sting more than people realize. Once I tell my kids’ teachers that we are homeless and have been for a while, they suddenly don’t know what to say or the opposite happens. I laughed when a school counselor asked me if I knew about welfare and shelters. I laughed and told her she doesn’t know me too well, does she?