I have completed my first week back at work. Actually I worked the week before, but this was the first week with my new staff (eleven of them) and the children. It was a challenging on so many levels. I worked all summer to prepare as much as possible before starting the job, but like most things in life you can’t be prepared for everything.
On one particularly draining day I arrived home late from work. The after school program I run stays open until 6:00 PM each school day. On that particular day a parent was late picking up their child and I didn’t get home until 7:00 PM. When I walked through the door of my home I was exhausted.
When I arrived home everyone was finishing dinner. I was disappointed to have missed the evening meal, but understood everyone was hungry. When the family asked how my day was I couldn’t control my emotions. The stress of a long work week, the day’s frustrations and sadness of missing my family over took me. I sat down at the dinner table a began to cry.
There wasn’t any one particular thing I cried about. It was more a release of many emotions I had held in since I took the job. My husband did his best to talk to me and provided suggestions to make things easier. I knew he was concerned for me, but I didn’t need to hear suggestions of what to do. I needed someone to listen…really listen, not solve my problems.
Little Boy and Tall Boy both gave me a hug and told me they were sorry I was sad. After a little while of talking they both walked away to play and hang out in their room. However, Old Boy stayed at the dinner table and listened to me talk.
I talked for a while longer and then went to the kitchen to help clean up from dinner. After dinner I went to my bedroom and lay on my bed. As I was looking up at the ceiling Old Boy came into my room.
Old Boy sat down on my bed and told me he was sorry the first week of work was challenging. He recounted several situations I spoke of earlier and told me he understood my perspective. He explained why some of the situations may have occurred. He didn’t give suggestions. He just assured me he had heard what I said and wanted me to know he was there for me.
After Old Boy spoke I felt better. I gave him a hug and thanked him for listening and supporting me. It felt odd to display emotions around him because I am the parent and felt I was supposed to be strong. However, the more I thought I realized I was merely showing my son I was human and humans are emotional beings.
The manner Old Boy spoke to me was unexpected. He sounded wise and like a man. I guess I still thought of him as little boy. It’s amazing when your child grows up reflecting the love and support you gave them as a child. It makes all the long days and sleepless nights worth it.
Thank you, Old Boy.