I am so tired.
Probably not the best time to write a blog post. I'm in my 24th hour of being awake. I just finished my 18 hour shift. That's EIGHTEEN, just in case you missed it. But I'm not complaining.
I work with adolescents who have developmental disabilities. They live in a group home and we the staff provide 24 hour care. I've been working here for 2 1/2 years. I'm very close to beating my old record of longest time employed at one place. I worked as a server at a mom and pop restaurant for 3 months shy of 3 years. That was a good character building job. It taught me how to talk to strangers. Before that, I was never very good.
Here are a bunch of reasons why I love my now job.
- I work with kids with developmental disabilities.
- They are the coolest group of people
- I'm often humbled by how loving and accepting they are ...("I want to give my clothes to the poor people...")
- Sometimes we get to go to movies or plays
- Other times we get to go on hikes or to parks
- The pet store employees know us
- GREAT conversation
- I (with the help of the kiddo) get to plan out what my shift looks like
- Unpredictable. One minute you're coloring, the next you're dodging teeth
- Hilarious. Like the time one kid asked if I would "french fry" her hair. Another time I got called a "chocolate chip cookie dough whore."
- My employer pays for new glasses if one of the kids breaks them. I found that out first hand
- I get the privilege to care for the marginalized
- They've taught me not to worry so much about how I appear to other people. You better believe we're singing in the grocery store and holding hands in the mall. And no, we're not lesbians (someone really asked that once). And yes, despite what you may think, she has a beautiful voice. So please don't stare or snicker. She notices
In just over a month, I'm dropping down to one shift a week. It's bitter sweet. I'm so very excited to start grad school, but I know that once I start that journey it means I'm transitioning out of these people's lives. Being that I've worked with these kids for as long as I have, I've been able to build some pretty awesome relationships and witness huge amounts of growth. It will be hard for me to watch new staff come in and take over my role, but I have to trust that God loves these kids way more than I ever could, and he will continue to take care of them, even without me in the picture.
I have to give a shout out to the makers of HiBall and This American Life. I rarely work overnights and I think there's only been three times I've ever worked a swing/overnight double. It was good to have a source of caffeine that doesn't give me gut rot, and something to engage my mind so as to keep me from dozing. I couldn't have done it without you guys.
Good Morning! *yawn*. I'm going to bed...