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"Somehow.... They still find a way to smile."

One of my favorite rap songs of all time is "Hate It Or Love It" by The Game feat. 50 Cent.

It's a song about the underdog making it!! Beating the odds, and making it out of the rough streets. That's what I want for these two boys.

Yesterday the rolled with me to get pizza for our girl's basketball team. And as they spoke, that song came to my mind, and all I heard was 50 Cent's voice from the opening stanza....

50 Cent: "Tossed and turned in my sleep that night.
Woke up the next morning niggas done stole my bike.
Different day same sh-t, ain't nothing good in the hood.
I'd run away from this b-tch, and never come back if I could."

These 2 boys have been with me since day 1 at Franklin Square Elementary School. Both special and unique in their own way. The closer we become, the more we become like family.

But.... yesterday was different. This picture was taken seconds after they said this....

Jayden (front seat): "Living here, is like living in hell. I just wanna get out of here. I'm sick of seeing people getting killed."

Eddie (backseat): "Yeah... We can't even go to the park, because all they do is sell drugs and shoot up the place. I know so many people that got killed at that park. Mr. T for real for real.... I be scared to walk home sometime. That's why I be wanting to go home with you. I just wanna go, and not look back...."

These 2 mean a lot to me. The only thing that pisses me off about them is, they're Seattle Seahawks fans. But I still sent them to Seahawks vs. Ravens game in 2015. Their first NFL game. And they got to experience the game 10 rows back on the 40 yard line. And they found greater pleasure by coming to school the next day, to boast about how the Seahawks beat up on my Ravens. cheap red homecoming dresses

Kind of sucks when you hear an 11 year boy tell you that he feels like he's living in hell. Kind of sucks when a boy tells you that he's afraid to walk home. But it brings joy to my heart that regardless of their circumstances.... that they can genuinely smile. Some of these kids will be stronger than you or I will ever be.

They're smiling, and I wanna cry. They're underdogs, and I want them to win too. I want them to live out the hook from "Hate It Or Love It". My favorite part of the song... The part when they win, and make it out.

50 Cent: "Hate it or love it, the underdog's on top.
And I'm gonna shine homie, until my heart stop."

Eddie always says, ''At least I got you Mr. T....."

We're gonna find a way to get them OUT....

# HateItOrLoveIt