I worked my first time as head counselor at the ARC today. I had a group of 6 kids, 3 I knew and 3 new ones. The last time I subbed as head counselor I had this grand plan which failed miserably. I had some ideas of what I wanted to do in regards to our curriculum and let the group dynamic guide what was happening.
For the most part, that worked. As we got closer to the end, one of my kids did not listen to directions and was not happy that I called attention to it. His behavior spiraled downward and he became verbally abusive and was physically aggressive (though not towards anyone, if that makes sense) . I had to make the decision to send him home. I had to make a lot of decisions today, which truly, can be hard for me because I second guess myself constantly.
My friend J.T. is wonderful at listening to me go over my troubling scenarios. I like to dwell on them to the point of hysteria and then, I'll vocalize what is bothering me and what I may need to do to solve it. And the kicker is, 9 out of 10 times I already KNOW what my decision will be. I find it comforting to get the problems out of my brain and into the air as it gives them life and I have to solve them instead of letting them hang in my cranium like ghosts.
I am reminded of my mother, too, as many of life's lessons were not taught to me before she died. I was so green back then. She was all I knew. I clung to her like skin. 18 years ago today my whole world disintegrated. It was only 6 weeks after my 20th birthday.
My mother was not perfect by any means. As I got older and looked back on some aspects of my upbringing, I really got angry at how I was just tossed into the world without a guide, a compass or a clue. Both my parents felt that you just "know" what to do. I don't blame her now as I have come to realize that she was a product of her own upbringing and the common group think of that era.
As a parent, I am trying my hardest to walk the fine line of guidance and independence. I also work outside the box of commonality and look to encourage the individual spirit of my child. My background and continuing education in psychology and special needs have helped me greatly to really understand what is going on in Nathan's world and how I can help him be the best he can be.
I do miss her. Alot. I want to call her up and I can't. It pains me I don't remember what her voice sounds like. I'll catch a scent of a perfume she used to wear and I will stop and try to take as much of it in, like she's really here with me. I try to savor those little moments.
I think she would be proud of me, but she wouldn't have told me directly. She probably would have said, "Keep up the good work." or "You're going to wear that to meet the President?!"
I love you, Mom.