Posted by: bwoof | June 6, 2010

“Dream for them….and let them make choices”

I spoke today with D and B who are wonderful people with the patience of Job and the wisdom of Solomon! These two run an agency that provides foster homes for the hardest of the hardest of kids to serve. D and B know kids, and they know what works with those who are so totally disenfranchised that the rest of the logical known world would simply just give up and count those kids as statistical failures, not as people who deep down inside want to succeed.

When I lamented that so many teens I know just have no dreams or aspirations, D quietly but bluntly noted that “you have to dream for them.” You know what? He’s right! There are kids who really (I mean REALLY!) have nothing to live for. They think school is stupid because it’s an investment in nothing, since there is, after all, nothing. The only dream is for the next minute, literally, when a connection with a peer or the ubiquitous weed can be like a mini-high that lasts just long enough to numb the pain of loneliness and nothingness.

Yes…I’ve been humbled this year to be reminded that that suffering is real and that when I see kids flatlining with no dreams, then, like D said, I have to dream for them. I must believe that there is more…and there is.

When I commiserated with B about the really (!!!!) dumb choices that many teens make, she reminded me that I must always be sure to let the teens make choices. I can only help describe the choices and the likely or possible outcomes. Again, she’s a wise woman and articulated formally for me what I’m learning experientially, and sometimes more by trial and error. Unfortunately, more error at times, it seems.

She noted that I can always say to a teen something like this:

“If you make that choice, then you’ll not be able to go on the field trip. That would be too bad and we’ll really miss you, but it’s your choice, and I respect your choice.”

B emphasized that it’s important to show respect for teens by affirming that they have power to choose, and also that regardless of the choice that we will be there to work out the details together, whatever they are.

Grateful for:

  • seredipitous conversations with people like D and B who just happen to be available for a chat at just the right time
  • friends who came to Costco with us today and helped with the bait and switch while a senior enjoyed shopping…and shopping…for too much stuff
  • tiger lilies in the garden (see photo to right)
  • my favourite gardener!!!
  • raspberry bushes which are laden with berries blushing with that first bit of colour. Give them another week and I’ll be in full-blown jam production! Yea!

Curious about:

  • the oil spill the Gulf of Mexico…it’s awful, tragic, and looking like ‘end times’; how can the harm be averted?
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