“You’re the only person who’s ever believed in me like this,” he said.
Tears pricked at the backs of my eyes. Don’t. Not now. Don’t lose it in front of the kids.
I know I’m not supposed to have favorites, but he’s definitely a favorite. Bright kid. A kid with fire and passion in his eyes. Composed. Mature. Has the brains and the heart to do something good for this world. Make something of himself.
But everyday, he goes home to what? A family who has never told him they believe in him? That they’re proud of him? That he’s smart and talented?
What a crime. Really, what a travesty. If only I could pull this kid up out of the mire of his own situation. The raw hand he’s been dealt. But how?
In that moment, I knew. This is it. He knows I care, he knows I value him, he knows I believe in him. And sometimes that’s all it takes. An ear to listen to your woes, cries, and struggles, but also to your great accomplishments and triumphs. Someone to celebrate with you and tell you, “Man, you. are. talented.” I knew he got it.
It’s been a while since I’ve seen him. I hope he carries with him daily that someone believes in him. That someone is rooting wildly for his success. That someone is invested in his future. And I hope that’s enough to keep him fighting.