Ponderings About Being a Houseparent

Last Friday we had a professional clown visit and perform for us and the children as part of a national show that is coming to the area.  The kids had a great time and frankly so did I, even though I figured out how he made the hankie disappear.

Somebody asked him if he enjoyed his job and he said he loved it.  He used a quote that he attributed to Ben Franklin but I have also seen it attributed to Confucius and anonymous (while researching it this weekend),  “do what you love and, you’ll never have to work another day in your life.”  I had probably heard that before in one variation or another but I can’t think of any particular time.  Anyway, I have been doing a lot of pondering about being a houseparent and why somebody would want to do it lately, as you have probably read in some of my recent writings.

I have come to the conclusion that to be successful at it you have to love it, or at the very least love helping kids.  And though there are definitely days when it is work, there are many, many days when it doesn’t seem to be, for example.

  1. Friday, watching the kids faces being entertained by the clown.
  2. On the days when a child discovers they can accomplish new things.
  3. On the days when children discover they can be successful at school.
  4. On the days when children discover they are loved (Even big, bad teenagers in a delinquent home).
  5. On the days when children realize they can be successful, contributing members in a family and society.
  6. and on a lighter note – on days like today when I get to dress up in my funny red plaid shorts and grey Converse All-Stars and drive a bunch of teenagers to camp, while they are totally embarrassed by the way I look (for about the first 5 minutes).

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