From Last Week: I see my own kids four days a month, and I have no idea who they are anymore

When I think about my dad, I think about how different it was when I was growing up. Was providing for and raising a family simpler and easier back then, or was he just better at it than I am? I don’t know; maybe both.

When I walk into my school in the morning, the first thing that I notice is the smell of the freshly polished linoleum floors. For me, there’s a sense of power and pride that comes along with walking into an empty school in the early morning, before the kids crowd the halls. My tiny office is located in one of the back halls, next to a chemistry classroom. I’m pretty sure that it used to be a broom closet at one point, but I can’t complain. We’re perpetually underfunded and we teach a very tough student population.

I’ve seen a lot here. The most common narrative is babies having babies. When they come to my office with that deer in the headlights look of sheer immobilizing panic, I make sure to tell them that they have options. I help as much as I can—financially and otherwise—to get these kids on the right track. I come up with money that I don’t have, knowing that I will never be repaid. I spend time with them that I should be spending with my own family, and I want to tell them that having kids can be a blessing, but how can I?

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