Out of all of the celebratory moments from graduation week, this hug was the most meaningful of them all. Students affectionally refer to him as “Schaffer.” Not Mr. Schaffer, just Schaffer. He was my girl’s go to person for the last 3 years of high school. You see, my girl’s “super power” is to act like everything is fine and dandy…. until it is not anymore. That super power has also been her kryptonite.
His office was her safe place when school became too overwhelming. He helped me navigate a 504 Plan for her despite being a straight A student and in the top of her class. He saw how hard it was for her to keep it all together, most likely because she could relax and be real in his office. They initially bonded over both leaving her former school, but their friendship has been one of deep trust, respect, and mutual admiration.
Schaffer called me twice over the last 3 years, and I will always be grateful for those calls. His concerns either initiated new mental health services, or increased ones already in place. She could tell him when she was not ok, and she only has one other person she has been able to trust in this way (hello, NY Sara, I am writing about YOU).
Every teen deserves a Schaffer. Super grateful my girl found hers at Eno River Academy.