Motivational Speaker

    I give this speech at least once a day in my cottage.

Sometimes I get a little long winded and go into lecture mode. After a few minutes of me talking, my wife will tap me on the shoulder and only then do I realize the kid is all glassey eyed and drool is coming out of one side of their mouth.

I’ve learned not to bring up my own past indiscretions and how those choices have hurt me in this life. Those kind of conversations tend to get really twisted in the head of a pre-teen. I tried giving a motivational talk to a boy at our first facility that had been trying to purchase pot in school. I told him about how most of my buddies I grew up smoking with in my neighborhood were either dead, in jail, homeless or a preacher (go figure). Somehow that turned into a big story around campus how I love smoking crack and vacation in Columbia. 

As a general rule, personal stories are just a bad thing to do. The kids don’t really care about the 80’s anyway and reminiscing about the good old days always makes you sound old.

Maybe I’ll just start forcing them to read my blog instead of lecturing. Both are equally painful.-Launch

Holiday Recovery

Chocolate Rabbits

Most of the kids here left to go home or to a resource family for the Easter holiday. These are good times. We get a break, the kids get a break, and we both dread the end of our carefree and happy days.

The boys start coming back to the cottage today. This means the next 48 hours will be filled with “I’m calling my caseworker”, “You aren’t my parents”, “Whatever” and my favorite- “Step off fat man”.

I have to admit the cottage runs pretty smooth most of the time. But every-time there is a break in routine it upsets the harmonious karma we have and the boys try pushing the boundaries for a day or two after which we tend to settle back down into what we would call “normal” life around here.

In less than two hours the first wave will hit. A couple pre-teen boys hyped up on sugar and caffeine will come strolling in dressed like they just got done shooting a rap video. My first reaction will be to tell them to get a belt on because their butts are hanging out. My second reaction will be to give them a wedgie after they tell me no. I will then proceed to tell them that if they are really aspiring to be gangsters they will need to dress a little more “Combat Effective” in order to stay alive in the hood. Seriously, “Busting a Sag”, (wearing your pants almost around your knees) has got to be the stupidest fashion statement EVER. In my day the other kids in my neighborhood would have given me a wedgie that would have needed medical attention.

I’ll ask their mom if she happened to give them anymore CD’s that consist of gun fire and cursing, she’ll tell me I need to be more culturally sensitive to her boys and I’ll fight the overwhelming urge to ask her if Gangster rap, smoking crack and dressing like a thug has worked so well for her then why am I raising her boys? But I won’t say it, because I am after all sensitive to her need to express herself as a mother the best way she knows how.

Second wave will hit just before bed time. Two Six year olds, completely stoned on Mountain Dew. They will be laughing and giggling WAY into the wee hours of the morning. Trying to wake them tomorrow morning will be like raising the dead.

Even though we’ve been through this every holiday and the next two days will be a little rough, we still miss them. I’ve been sitting here thinking of how nice it would be to take them on a bike ride today.

I guess the ride will have to wait until the dust settles and we go through Easter recovery!-Launch