Once upon a time, before I ever experienced the joy of pregnancy or birthed my own child, I became a mother. Not in the biological sense and not in the legal sense of the word, but in responsibility. I graduated college in 2001 with my BA in Sociology. I wanted to work with children, make a difference, and leave their lives a little better for having known me. I have to laugh at that type of thinking now. It's not terrible to want those things, but how egocentric to think that I alone would be the force that would change a child's life for the better. But this is what I wanted and it's what I set out to do and it's what I believe I failed miserably at.
Enter the Loveless Place as it shall be called. It's a real place with a real name, but I guess I want to tread carefully since this place still exists and operates. Not for protection of a place that I now despise, but because I don't know the rules of blogging and slander when it comes to institutions. As a potential employer, Loveless Place promised me what I was looking for. An opportunity to work with children in a very personal way and be a part of shaping them into better functioning individuals. I immediately applied for a position. The interview went well and I fell for their program hook, line, and sinker.
Really I'm not sure how I got suckered in. The looks of Loveless Place would be enough to turn just about anyone off. The drive into the place, through a gate and guard on duty, showed a cheerless line of buildings. Old. Gray. Cold. The houses in which many of the children lived were much the same. Old, institutional looking, and free of the warmth that is usually found where children are present.
As I previously stated, my interview went well. I passed their psychological exam and sexual predator screening. I completed my fingerprinting and my physical exam. I packed my bags, my parents and I loaded the U-haul, and we were off. Upon arrival, I moved my belongings into one room in a cheerless gray house. I met the inhabitants. They were polite little girls between the ages of 7 and 10. They stood in a perfectly straight line to shake my hand and greet me. Perhaps that should have been my first warning sign. A straight and silent procession of greetings from such little ones as opposed to bombarding me with noise as only a group of little children can.
This was my arrival, the beginning of my artificially induced "motherhood" for lack of a better word. And this is a good stopping place. There will be so much to say that this will be a series of posts. I'm not a great planner when it comes to my blogging, so I don't know how many parts will be necessary until I feel done with this topic. I don't even know at this point everything that I will cover. But I know that there is a lot that is inside of me regarding my experiences that needs to get out. My hope in posting all of this is to take others on my journey, process through my own thoughts and feelings, and move on. I hope to challenge some popular beliefs regarding children and behavior along the way and perhaps explore and/or advocate for alternatives.So I guess we shall see together what this series will become!