Last week, I met a girl in my middle school in the midst of a pregnancy scare. Her period was late, she thought she was pregnant, and scared out of her mind. The talk we had was completely by the seat of my pants on my part, and she seemed too distraught to absorb any of what I was saying.
I called her back to my office this week during her least favorite class period, science, to check in. She came in with a grin wide enough to inform me without words that she was not pregnant, but as I'd warned her the week earlier, that didn't mean we didn't need to talk.
Rarely have I had a student open up to me like she did, and the words didn't stop. I shared with her the brochures I had picked up at the local Planned Parenthood in anticipation of this meeting, and tried to implore the seriousness of her situation without making her feel guilty or otherwise shutdown.
The girl left my office promising to call Planned Parenthood after school that day and said she couldn't even tell me how helpful I had been. It may be too premature to call it a success; only time will tell that. Both her sisters and mother dropped out of high school after becoming teenage mothers, and she promised me she didn't want that for herself. She asked how old I was and seemed shocked I didn't have children given my ancient age of 25; I assured her there is all the time in the world to have kids, but there is not all the time in the world to be one. Somehow I managed to connect with her, and I actually do believe - or maybe just want to believe - left a very heavy impact on her. It's not often I find myself at a loss for words, but I can't find a way to describe this conversation: "good" is just terribly insufficient.
These are the kinds of things that make me love what I do. Happy Friday.