There was something different about these children, these two red headed twins who sat in the front row of my second grade classroom. For one thing they were far two quiet, most kids chatted endlessly, these two were as timid as frightened kittens. I wanted to reach out to them, but really where did I begin.
I had seen Heather and Helen before, these two precious children, there Father was well known, as was the rest of their family. They had two sisters, and a brother, and an older sister who had died. Perhaps that is why they seemed so solemn, but I wondered to if there was something deeper than that. I could not put my finger on it, but something was different about these children, aside from the shyness that seemed to make them almost mute. The only time it seemed they did talk was either to each other, or to me, there teachers and that was barely anything more than whispers. They were good students, but they did not do well with group projects or anything that required them to leave their comfort zone.
Perhaps it was a twin thing, but I had my doubts, this seemed to go much deeper than that, it seemed to be as if they were afraid to talk, afraid to get out of their comfort zone.
The first thing that came to my mind was abuse, but I shrugged the idea off, this family was to well liked, to many good things said about this family. They could not abuse their children. Could they?
Lord perhaps I relate to these kids so much, because I know what it is to be scared like they are, but what are they scared of Lord? I wonder why they are so frightened? They are to young to have this kind of paralyzing fear, but I know it happens Lord, I just don’t know why.I had only been a teacher for four years when these two became part of my class, but immediately I sensed something was different about them, sensed that they needed someone. I knew they had each other and they definitely needed that, but they needed someone else to tell them they cared.
I wondered if there parents were so busy, that perhaps sometimes they forgot to show them they cared. I wondered if their Fathers career as a well renowned author who traveled the world pulled him away from the family to much.
I could not begin to understand what these poor children went through.
I want to reach out to these children Lord, but how can I? They shut me out if I dare get to close. What is going on? Why can’t I reach out to them? How am I supposed to teach them if they shut me out? They have so much potential Lord, I don’t know what I am going to do but I have to do something to reach them Lord, I can not sit around doing nothing. I want to be the best teacher I can be, but I don’t know how to be that to them without your help.
Screaming, loud screaming, and then nothing.
Heather and Helen sit with there ears covered, they are little maybe four or five. And are hiding in the closet. Kristine is getting beat, and they know better than to get in Daddies way, they will get beat too.
Silence not even the sound of Kristine’s crying.
Kristine was thirteen, pretty, but Daddy beat her a lot, she did not listen all the time, she had trouble understanding some things. She was a little slow Mommy had said once.
Why did Daddy beat her, why did Daddy beat all of them.
Melanie, and Aerial did their best to take the beatings for Helen and Heather, but Jeffery and Kristine took the brunt of them. They could not watch their baby sisters get beat.
But sometimes Daddy beat them anyway.
They learned to hold back their tears, not cry out loud, because that seemed to make Daddy happy. Them crying.
Why was Daddy this way?
Not all Daddy’s were like this!
Mommy said it was because Daddy was different, but that was an xcuse, Melanie and Aerial said, something to make her feel better about letting it happen.
Why didn’t Mommy stop Daddy?
Heather and Helen waited quietly in the closet, praying Daddy wouldn’t come and beat them. Melanie and Aerial said one day Daddy was just gonna go crazier than he already was, and kill them all. But they didn’t wanna die, they were little, they wanted to play with friends and do fun stuff, but they couldn’t not unless Daddy was putting on a show, pretending for his public, that’s what Melanie and Aerial said he did.
How could someone admire a man like this? Melanie had asked. She was ten but she was smart, to smart for her own good sometimes, because Daddy beat her too. It seemed he beat everyone.
I had heard this families story before, they had come to town after their older sister had died, the two that sat in my class now were just starting school. Just over two years prior, and in two years these precious children had made no friends to speak of. I felt it was kind of sad, and my heart went out to them. I had been shy as a child but nothing like this, and I had eventually come out of my shell. Maybe they would too. I prayed for their sake that was the case