I have a student that struggles with anger. He controls it. It’s amazing to me at his young age that he controls it like he does. He is a good kid with an amazing heart with so much potential for great things in this world.
So when he gets really angry or really overwhelmed or really hard on himself (he wants to do so well), he sometimes needs to walk away. And that’s ok. It’s a great strategy.
Yesterday truly melted my heart. He was having a rough day all around and PE was too much. It put him over the edge. He walked to the PE pole, leaned hard against it, breathing in and out heavily, tears dripping from his face, as he worked so hard to hold it together. Sometimes I go to him and sometimes I give him space. I had my eyes on him, trying decide the best approach in that moment.
As I watched, another student walked over, said a few words, and then just sat next to him. Just sat. For several minutes. Didn’t talk to him. Didn’t touch him or try to make him feel better. Just was there. Just there. Close enough to feel his presence.
Without saying a word, he said “I’m here for you. I understand you’re upset. I’ll be by your side until you’re OK again. You’re not alone. I’m here for you.”
Third graders, friends.
I was in awe.
I took the picture.
This is what love and acceptance looks like. This is what being a friend looks like. I accept you for who you are and I’m here for you. I see you’re having a hard time, let me sit with you through it.
The next time a friend is hurting and you have no idea what to say, just be there. Sit down next to them. Be a listening ear if they want, but mostly just be there. Your presence lets them know that they are not alone. That there are others around that care.
Words don’t often fix the deep aches we have, but a presence that says I’m here for you can be so comforting. The feeling of knowing you are not alone is worth so much.
Be the friend who is just there.
Be encouraged today, friends. There are good kids growing up in this world. Good, caring, loving kids who know the importance of just being there.
That’s enough to start my day with a full heart.