50.25. A Good Kid. Meet Tavon.

I had an internal debate with myself. The conflicting thoughts consisted of 1) what child does not like cake for breakfast and 2) cake is not appropriate for breakfast. Long story short, Tavon and I ate cake. After all, it was Tavon’s 11th birthday. In Tavon’s 11 years, he has seen and experienced way too much. He has been homeless, he has been removed from his home, and he has had a father that consistently breaks promises.

Before I ever met Tavon, I was warned about him. I was told that Tavon was angry. I was told that Tavon was uncontrollable. I was told that Tavon did not listen.

When I met Tavon, he was none of these things. Tavon was quiet. Tavon was thoughtful. Tavon was appreciative.

After knowing Tavon, I get more upset about how he was first described to me. Tavon is a better person the more I interact with him. He always says “please” and “thank you.” He talks about saving up money to help his mom. Recently, Tavon and I have had more serious discussions. He knows that people think that he has a temper. He tells me about his father and his father does not love him. He seems genuinely surprised every time he sees me and explains that he assumes that one day I will walk away as well. After all, this is all he has ever experienced from the adult males in his life. They make promises and then never fulfill them. Tavon is 11 years old but he knows so much. He is aware of how he is viewed and has told me that people think he is a “bad kid.” The unfortunate part about this comment is it could not be farther from the truth. It only takes a few minutes to realize this or a breakfast eating cake.

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