Captain’s Log 4,454
I woke up this morning with a headache so bad my eyes felt like they were going to fall out of my head. Happens every single time I deal with a certain group. Professionals tell me that these headaches happen when the stress is trying to exit your body. If that’s the case, I take this headache as a good sign that the crap is over…..for a time.
There was a victory yesterday. On paper. It still doesn’t change my mind about anything, but it was a good move. I have other things to focus on – like…..a trip to Amsterdam next year and digging out my paints for another art project now that the days are warm enough to use the patio as a studio. Watching the birds.
Speaking of birds, the finches are now so bold (or perhaps comfortable) that they sit within 2 feet of me as I fill the feeders. They wait politely on the rosebushes while I take care of things for them. They also wait politely for fresh water in the birdbath. One of these days, I am going to hang a thistle sock on my head and see if they come even closer.
One of my former students sent me a video of herself jumping off a bridge in Ecuador. Holy mommacita! She also sent a photo of her after the jump as she swings into the water at the bottom.
Bungee jumping low enough to hit the water? No way!
I met her when she was about five years old. Her little brother was about three and was so afraid of me he hid in the toy box. She was never afraid, however. She was one of those kids who challenged me every single time. Questions, questions, questions.
She had it rough. Her parents split and her father distrusted everything that happened with our youth group. He refused her permission to join our mentoring program, etc. She also wasn’t allowed to do any of the over-night activities because we were “Satanic.”
We had a sort of rescue program at that church. With 75 kids in the program, there was bound to be some problems in the homes. There was a group of brothers who had were routinely thrown out of the house. Since the chances of them being split up if they entered the system was extremely high, I didn’t want to risk that. I met them at the church and opened up the community room as a shelter for them. I did this more than once. We made a lot of home visits and took those boys on outings and exposed them to things their parents never did. The middle boy was one of the kids in my mentoring group (thank goodness his parents let them participate). He wound up with a full scholarship to Reed College in Portland – full ride. All four years. The oldest one went to Berkeley. The youngest went to high school in Ireland. They all made it through. It really does take a village to raise a child. In this case, it took a team dedicated mentors to make that difference. Once a new minister came in with her own ideas about what kids should be doing, the entire program fell apart. Really sad. Eventually, the entire church fell apart but it was rebuilt into something new with the heart and soul of another minister who understands people and what they need. She is a friend of mine even though I no longer attend any church at all. I’m not even sure if I even believe in God anymore. It’s nice that I don’t have to be in the club to be counted. I wish all ministers and churches treated people that way.
There are times I really miss doing meaningful work like that, and then there are times I am so glad those days are over. It’s been almost 7 years since I worked with kids, and I’m not sure I have the snap anymore. Or the desire.
Today is another opportunity to move forward. The headache is almost gone and I no longer feel pukish. It’s amazing what a handful of Advil and a really strong cup of coffee will do.