Have I mentioned recently how wonderful my own children are? I tell them that all of the time anyway, but compared to some other kids they are just amazing. I've always figured that they were better than most by other people's reactions to them. I've always heard "Oh, your ______ is so sweet! Can we take him/her home?" We hear that a lot. Out of my campers, I have one that's definite ADHD, one with a bad family life and autism to boot, and a bunch of kids that have known each other long enough to get on each others nerves quickly. They are all good kids, but they spend a lot of time fighting against each other instead of with each other. I'm sure that this is no surprise to anybody that spends a lot of time with a lot of kids, like a teacher or teacher's aide. But to someone that has 3 wonderful kids that rarely get into trouble and doesn't have a whole lot of time logged with other kids in the last 20 years or so... this was a bit overwhelming. Our little autistic boy decided that it was too hot, too early, and he wanted to go home. Have I mentioned he's very smart? I took him to the office area after he spent about 20 minutes crying how homesick he was, & I thought he left, but apparently they have a deal worked with his family. He joined us for lunch, but he was sad and angry that he was still there. When I asked him if he would please try to have fun and join us he started to loosen up a bit. I'm not sure what happened next but something set him off. Next thing I knew he was swinging his bucket up in the air and it damn near knocked out 2 of the kids next to him. Just before that I had 2 kids push each other, and later in the afternoon I had one boy smack his friend in the face with his hat. However, we got the boys to line up today and not storm into the swap & crafts shelter, so we're making progress. What a long, hot day. We had a heat index of 102F today. It was a bit cooler today than yesterday, thank God. I got pretty much no sleep last night so I dreaded thinking about that heat.
On the flip side of that, even if the sweet little boys that we are leading were screaming and yelling all of the time, I met another woman that I believe has to be a saint. This woman has been through so much, a grandmother with a grandchild that lives with her now, and I suspect she'll have 2 more with her soon. She is exactly the sort of person that I seek out, and that these children need. She was a bus driver, but she also worked with emotionally disturbed children. She adopted an infant that was born addicted to alcohol & drugs. Her natural son passed away a few years ago. This woman is brave, and compassionate, and strong despite a titanium- riddled back. And here she is donating her time despite all of her issues. This is how it should be. People helping people. And she thinks like me! I really haven't heard very many other people say that it's better and easier to just let things go until you come across something that you really need to fight about. Letting go of the little things can really help to keep the peace. Few people really get that. I'm not sure when I became such a free spirit, but I really like being able to see the things that I see this way, I like being able to accept things in a way that I never did before. And on that note... I am going to be 100% exhausted tomorrow. How does it get so late so early? I shall be back to let ya'll know that I have survived tomorrow! Pray for me, k'?
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