Today was the first actual day of work….or at least the most typical of what I can expect for the rest of the summer. We spent the morning hours planning for the day/rest of the week. Lunch break/mentor meeting (Thai food for the first time). Printing newsletters. Food pickup and packing. Supper break (Muffin making). Seneca Center. Bible study.
For those of you who don’t know, Seneca Center is the Neighborhood center I’m going to work at the rest of the summer. Kids congregate in the streets and driveway ready for us to get there and start playing with them. This is definitely the aspect of my job that I am most nervous/unsure of. I don’t hate kids…but I don’t love them like some people do. I’ve been called a Grinch on several occasions and I’ve definitely felt that way after listening to introductions several times this week. Everyone keeps saying how they’re so excited about getting to play with the kids all day and how much they love kids…I’m over here like, I hate rainbows, puppies and happiness. That’s not true, but it’s definitely what it feels like at times. I’m not terribly comfortable with kids and you can totally tell. I don’t hang out with them much and these are all new faces which doesn’t help my case. They are not yet little people with big personalities but I think they can get to that point for me. I’ve got to give it a chance…and a summer.
I spent the first 10 minutes on the side observing everyone because that’s what I do best. I watch and take little things away to remember about people. I attach faces to clothing and actions. I also can hangout with the little boys much easier than the girls. I played basketball and tag with the guys rather than dancing or hugging the little girls. I guess I don’t know if my expectations for myself are low or what, but I’m not entirely a Grinch..except when it comes to Christmas. I’ve connected with kids before and I’m sure I can do it again.
Needless to say, I will still be a little apprehensive about this portion of my job duties but there may be hope that at the end of the summer, my heart may grow three sizes for the children of Storm Lake.