Sweet Shelbie

Yesterday Shelbie was earlier than normal. She arrived at 7:15 a.m. Her face was shiny with sweat from her brisk walk which I questioned. What was the hurry this morning?

Shelbie had been fighting with her dad and step-mom. She was anxious to get out of the house even if it meant skipping a few more moments in a warm bed and subjecting herself to the cool outdoors. Not having to face the adults was the reward.

In addition to her cell phone and iPod, her father had decided that because of the current situation with her grades, he was taking away the things in her bedroom which included some clothes. Odd parenting tactic if you ask me. Also, her state of being grounded since September, four months now, had no immediate end date.

Suffering grades were not the result of irresponsibility but rather incompetence. Lack of knowledge and understanding was the reason that her grades were suffering. Were a few C’s really that bad? Wasn’t a D- in Spanish still a passing grade? Who gets higher than a C in Spanish? Shelbie’s Hispanic background had no influence on her grasp of the language.

I suggested that Shelbie make an appointment with her counselor. If she could convince her counselor that effort wasn’t the issue and that lack of understanding was, perhaps the counselor could discuss the matter with her father. Perhaps her father would get Shelbie some help instead of locking her in her bedroom every weekend.

Shelbie was early again today. The story with her father and step mother is a broken record. After some quick questions I discovered that her dad is 32. He had Shelbie when he was 18. He is out of work, but can’t muster the energy to take Shelbie to school. If she didn’t get a ride from us, her walk would cover 3 miles, 6 round trip. Perhaps that is the reason why she has a bike. I’ll have to find out why the bike is such a crutch.

“If you need anything, just let us know.” I told Shelbie as I dropped her off at school. “Don’t forget to talk to your counselor.”

Shelbie is in our lives for a reason. For now, she needs to be heard, and I am willing to listen.