Saturday, February 13, 2010

More Novel in a Paragraph: Yes

Valentines come in many shapes sizes and forms....

Davoni doesn’t answer. No matter what the therapist asks him, he grins, shrugs, says “I don’t know.” This was his response when she asked him if he missed his mother, when she asked how he felt when his foster mother told him in front of his whole first grade class that she didn’t want him anymore, what he thought when his head got shaved and the next day he started a new school in a new home. The therapist told Davoni that she is going to pay herself a nickel every time he says “I don’t know." “Oh another nickel—that’s fifteen cents so far today!” she says and they laugh together, the way they sometimes laugh when they are walking to the lunch room and while they are holding hands, they tickle each other’s palms.
He has only cried in front of the therapist once, mournful tears on the last day of kindergarten after his teachers kept showing him his special music award, telling him how great it was. But later, in the library, when the therapist asked him about it, he began to cry and couldn’t stop. Finally he sobbed, “It should have been in spelling, not music. I didn’t try in music.”
Last week he cried like that again, this time because he scratched someone in his after school program and was suspended for five days. The teacher aide told the therapist he cried so hard he couldn’t talk. She said he seems like a good child, smart, said that she understands that he is in a new school, new teachers, new foster family, new faces, new rooms, new rules.

“Do you fall asleep okay in your new room?” the therapist asks him.
“I dunno.”
“Oh! Another nickel!” He laughs. They both laugh.
Devoni,” the therapist puts a hand on his head, rubs his stub of hair. “About scratching that kid at after school, I can teach you how to use your words instead of your hands. I think that will help alot, what do you think?”
He looks up.“ I dunno.” She looks at him. He smiles. “Yes,” he says.
Find someone to be your valentine. They don't need to even know. ♥


  1. Sweet relationship between the kid and the therapist.

  2. Well done-I hope Blogger is nice and let's me actually LEAVE a comment-I've been lurking!

  3. I really got into this story.
    So much so that I'm hoping someone recognizes what must be his natural talent for music.
    To be GOOD at something,,,so important.
    Great story, kj!

  4. Sorry it has been so long since I have been here. I am really struggling with some things in my life, and not just with my health. It's taking me alot to push through my days. (tears) Anyway, I LOVE your new header. That is SO "sophia-like". :)

  5. cs, a compliment indeed from you! thank you. xo

    debra kay, i miss you, friend. i'm glad you're lurking but most of all i want you to feel better. ♥

    babs, that is a strong theory in therapy: find one asset and emphasize it, esp helpful with children who have been traumatized.

    sophia, don't give up, sophia, and don't walk the road alone. it's always good to see you here. thank you. xo

  6. Wonderful story, KJ.

    "Find someone to be your valentine. They don't need to even know."

    But if you tell them, they might buy you chocolates, and you wouldn't want to miss out on chocolates, would you?

  7. snow, thank you. it's always a treat to see you here, and i mean it! i would never pass up chocolate! i love chocolate! i am overdue visiting you. i tend to come by when i have time to linger and savor your yarns and smarts. how are you doing? ♥

  8. Yes this does pull the reader through to a better understanding of the relationship that should be between therapist and client.

    Nicely done kj.

  9. How does any child who has been discarded, twice, before he is six, respond at all?

    I really like the gentleness of the therapist contrasted against the edginess of this little guy's life.

  10. Powerful and poignant words, dear KJ. They made me cry (and I have been crying much less these days), inpart through your friendship and wise words you have left me.

    Happy Valentine's Day to you!

    This day used to be one of my favourites..... I know you know why it currently is not.... but, I still feel love in my heart and plan to celebrate again one day...after all, one can celebrate LOVE, in all its' forms on any day, right? Today, though, I am sending all my love and strength to our wonderful Renee and her family.... and of course to you.

    Love, (yes, I know how to make those hearts too..)

    ♥ Robin ♥

  11. That was so sad, and sweet. Bittersweet. xoxo

  12. Oh man, I want to bring Davoni home.
    I hope one day he'll be a famous musician and remember how hard he cried about the spelling, but with a big grin. A big one.

    You're one of my most special Valentines.


  13. mark, every time you even hint 'nicely done' my inner critic stops complaining. thank you. ♥

    linda, thank you so much. what
    insightful words... ♥

    hello robin, been thinking about you! i hope you give yourself a valentine, if only a warm shower. thank you time. we'll get there. ♥

    annie, yes, it is so sad. it just is. ♥

    lo, the thing is, he got that music award for no real reason, and he knew that. spelling meant something to him because he had tried so're are one of my special valentine's too. for sure!! ♥

  14. heart aching and tender ;) it touches me at my core...

  15. thanks val. i touches me too. i wish i were younger and richer so i could take these children home with me...