Monday, September 5, 2011
There are hundreds of kids in Kansas who have started the school year without the one thing they need the most, a family. One of those children is a shy 9-year-old named Justin.
We took Justin to Exploration Place where kids who were strangers, quickly became his "co-workers." "I like this one. You like the tarantula? Are you afraid of spiders? No, I am..."
Not only is Justin not afraid of spiders, he knows a lot about arachnids, and all kinds of insects. He knows a lot about all kinds of things. "Do you know that tarantulas blend in with their surroundings," he asks.
This nine year-old is smart, and alert. But he is also very shy. A sit down interview is not this fourth grader's cup of tea. When I ask him what he wants to be when he grows up, he answers with a shrug of his small shoulders and says, "I haven't made a decision yet."
But get him around other kids, even ones he has just met, and Justin has no problem getting right in there. He steps in easily helping out, sharing a toy, and a good time. I ask him why he was helping the other children make a dam. "Because it was fun," he says.
I did get out of Justin that he really doesn't like school, but he loves video games, and is a pretty good reader. Oh, and one other thing. Justin doesn't like sitting still. I find a quiet moment to ask him if he would like having a mommy and daddy with him all of the time. He nods a 'yes.' I ask Justin if he has ever had a mommy and daddy before. He shakes his head 'no.' Then he asks, "Can I go play now?" And he is off to join the other kids.