Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Officially almost on board

Okay, I talked with the counselor that Evan and I share. I don't think that it is a violation of confidentiality to say that her general attitude is that Evan did a good job of taking care of himself. He was panicking at the thought of college and he might have imploded. Instead he came up with an alternative.

So far so good. I get it. I accept it. He is not ready for college and he needs what the house can offer him. I just hope he is able to give what the house needs from him.

So, just for the record, let me re-state that this is a house were families are sent for therapeutic vacations where they learn to interact positively with each other. A typical family would be one who was poor (actually they all have to count as being in poverty), had a history of some sort of domestic violence, had their children removed and put into foster care, got their kids back, and are now having a difficult time functioning as a family. So they go off to this house for one week where they engage in fun family activities and therapy so that they can bond, etc.

Volunteers help everything run smoothly. They do some household chores, participate in some of the bonding activities and play with the children when the adults are in their own therapy or having a break.

It sounds like a wonderful place. It seems to me that volunteering there would be a fantastic experience for many American youth.

It also seems to me that sending Evan there is taking someone who is terrified of flying and signing them up to be supportive companions to people who are terrified of flying.

It would be like me, at nineteen, volunteering in a home for recovering alcoholics.

Like a rape survivor working in a center to rehabilitate sexual offenders.

Okay...maybe that is going too far.

However it is asking Evan to work with sympathetically with families who are just like his. He is not to take sides. He can't get too emotionally worked up. I frankly cannot imagine a situation that will be more emotionally challenging for him. If it were a place for just the youth, then I could see it being something he could cope with. But it is the entire family. Maybe, just maybe, working with families just like his will be therapeutic for him too. Maybe it will give him an opportunity to heal and he will take advantage of it.

The counselor asked me how long I thought he was going to make it there. I did not want to make a prediction, but she pushed me a little and I did. I will share it with you.

I predict he will make it two to three months, not the six that he has committed to doing.

I figure that is just long enough for him to decide he has proved me wrong about it being a bad idea. I said, I have accepted that he needs to do something like this. But why can't he help dig wells, or build a school house, or plant a forest?

But there can be no doubt that he is more motivated and organized about this than about anything ever. When he has to do something, like get a background check, he tries to get me to figure it out for him. However when I say, I really have no idea what you are supposed to do, he figures it out. Entirely on his own steam he has applied for a passport, got the back ground check, filled out the application, researched the plane tickets.

I'm so almost on board that I am ready to believe that the worst that will happen is that that he will come home in debt.

And I am glad, and he is glad, that his grandmother is ready to let him move in when he gets back. He has a safety net.

He is going to go. He is going to go sooner and farther away than I expected.


  1. Think worst case scenario and all your surprises can be pleasant ones.

    Do you think Evan might appear relatively together to these families? You know him, I don't.

    If he did, it could be a boost for him.

  2. That wasn't too clear. Let me try again.

    In the country of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.

    Did that just make it worse?


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