We had a going away "party" yesterday for one of our loveables. He's not going far, or for long, but he still wanted to be fussed over.
He was asked what activity he'd like to do for the last "group" he would be joining us for.
He wanted to do a bonding game they'd played once before. The youth gather in a circle and take turns (counter clockwise) telling each other what they like about one another.
The facilitator schools them on the rules.
"You can't just say "yer cool" she says.
"You can't like someone's clothes" she continues.
"Well, you can say something like "you wear cool hats", but you can't say "I like your hat".
Around the group they go.
I love to watch them soften before my eyes.
And they amaze me with some of the things they say about one another.
The stuff that appears important to them is the stuff that is important to me too...
"I like that you got my back" says one.
"I like the times when you've been on my team, that we work tight".
"I like that you are funny as hell and do all kinds of crazy stuff to get us to laugh".
"You know I don't just like you man... I love you"
Sounds about right...
Watch over me, help me, let me count on you, make me laugh and love me.
To the staff they say things like,
"You are so easy to talk to"
"I love how you mother us" (this one was to me... (my heart heart heart's a flutter).
To a staff member who both loves and hates,
to think he's mostly invisible, the leaving loveable says,
"I love how you help us do our work, and I know you push us because you care, I know that man, I get it and I appreciate it"
The staff member refuses to let go of a huge smile (threatening to blossom in spite of his stoic facade) and instead tips his head in response.
They continue on with each other and when they're done they turn to the staff to allow us to say something to the departing loveable.
I tell him that I love how hard he always works for me. I never ask you for anything, I say, that you don't do.
You are respectful to me and I love that about you.
I tell him about a country song that I love that talks about how you don't have to be the person you used to be...that you can change, and the change can be for the better.
The staff, in private, talk often about leopards changing their spots.
It can be done, I insist.
It helps to be a diehard optimist in my line of work.
One who lives to believe "they will live up to,
or down to,
your expectations of them".
The young man is off to a 30 day program to help him straighten his life (a rehab of sorts).
He is voluntarily entering the program.
You gotta get up once more than you're knocked down.
I love that about him.
This song is for you J.
Your school mother has lots of faith in you, a diamond under all that dust, fer sure.
PS... While I know my readers are all smart as all get out (you're a reader of my blog...right?) please don't click on commentor's comments that are horribly misspelled and hard to understand. Or they just plain "don't look too right" know what I mean? ..to do so could result in your computer getting a virus.