I sort of had a shitty morning.
I went to work, although I’m still recovering and probably could have used another day off.
But I’m in charge of the counseling on campus and not to sound important, but when I’m not there, well, it gets noticed.
Basically there are about 60 students on campus (it’s a small school) and roughly about 45 of them have mandated counseling services every week listed on their IEP’s (individualized educational plans).
If they don’t receive the counseling service as listed on the IEP, the school could get sued for breach of a legally binding service.
So it’s important that the kids get their counseling.
Now, there is supposed to be two of us, but my partner in crime is currently on medical leave and so I’ve been left to hold down the fort.
There have been reinforcements sent to help me in the meantime, but I still have to call the shots and deal with the crisis’s, meetings, and paperwork, all while providing the majority of the services to the kids, which includes group and individual counseling.
Reason why I’ve been so exhausted and stressed.
Anyway, this morning I was tired because I didn’t sleep well, uncomfortable because of the infection, stressed because I was in a 2 1/2 hour IEP meeting that wouldn’t fucking end and to which I was not prepared for and my stomach hurt.
Then I had to rush to do some groups and try to see some kids individually before the day ended.
One thing about these kids, they actually want to have their counseling time, which is fucking awesome.
Yeah, some of it is motivated by the fact that they get out of class, but still, I have kids constantly asking me when I’m going to take them or when their group is.
They would probably die before admitting this to their friends outside of school, though.
These kids aren’t the easy to love type either.
They are the prickly, guarded, people avoid them in general type.
But then again, I know how to soften prickly people.
And for some reason, they trust me.
Today my little 10 year old client demanded to know where I was yesterday because she likes to start every morning meeting with me for about 15 minutes so that she can have a good rest of the day.
It’s quite adorable but I’m trying to get her not to depend on me.
I explained this to her and she said “Yeah, well I just wanted you to be here.”
She had colored a Little Mermaid picture for me yesterday and left it as a gift.
It’s up on my wall now.
Anyway, by the end of the school day I was haggard and exhausted but one of the student’s, a 14 year old girl who’s really like a 10 year old girl in her head, kept insisting that I needed to take her because she had a birthday gift for me.
My birthday is the 27th of this month.
So even though I don’t have to see her individually, I could see she was really excited and I got her before school ended.
The gifts she gave me were so amazingly adorable.
It made my day.
She put so much thought and effort and was so excited for me to get them that it just melted me and reminded me why I do what I do even though I’m not paid nearly enough for all the white hair I’m getting from this.
It also reminded me that even when I’m feeling rushed, stressed, and spread way too thin, these kids are constantly watching and dying for any fragment of positive attention they can get from an adult.
And that even the tiniest bit of acknowledgement, attention, or praise can go a long way.
Gave me a sense of renewed perspective.
If I can be one consistent positive adult in their lives, then fuck it, it’s all worth it.
So my day ended well, thanks to my kids.
And that’s how I think of them, really.