The job’s been going very well. Yes, it’s a front desk job and I have to run for the phone, I don’t take any breaks, can barely get to the toilet twice a day, but the job is extremely varied and I like knowing all that’s happening in the place. I like working with law enforcement and DHS and board members. I’m beginning to feel I’m the beating heart of the place.
There’s really only one job I have in my mind that I’d like to do (other than have my own business) and that is to find a way to go to schools to talk to kids (and their parents separately) about e-safety. Even so-called “good” kids are getting caught up making horrible mistakes with people they meet online. Mistakes that will haunt them the rest of their lives. Every single day I deal with young kids and teens who are flattered when someone asks them for naked pics and soon became hooked on the flattery. Then they get blackmailed to keep sending more or they’ll share the pics with the entire school.
Their very weak self esteem makes them think if he says she’s pretty or sexy that it must mean that he likes her. Some of these boys aren’t even boys at all, but grown men posing as boys. And it escalates very quickly to meeting boys / men and doing stuff physically. And what makes me furious is these boys are watching so much porn that they think making a girl gag or pulling her hair is normal sexual behavior. I really feel for parents of younger kids in these times.
But every time the police go to schools to talk about safety with kids and they explain that no means no, one or two girls come up to them afterwards and tell them that it happened to them, only they didn’t know it was wrong until now or they were too frightened to act. And the cops don’t have the resources to get out there and warn and inform kids often enough and I really want to do some research and come up with a presentation and see if I can create that job for myself.
You never know. If someone can find the funding, it could be done.
But here’s some interesting news.
Because my brother, his wife, and young son are coming to visit starting on Thursday, my mother has had my dad working like a fiend cleaning house. This is what she does whenever they come: become obsessive about her house and plan every meal and every move. Her lists are long and they grow and grow and grow. He hosed down the entire house and the screens. He washed the windows. He had one honey-do project after another. Then last night at dinner he says to me, “I felt horrible yesterday. I was exhausted and my jaw hurt and I couldn’t even nap.” I said, “Dad, your jaw hurting can be a sign of an impending heart attack.”
Let me remind you he’s 81, has COPD, and uses a walker.
And I just felt so fucking furious that my mom will let my dad literally kill himself getting the house ready to impress my brother (who couldn’t give a shit) and his wife (who doesn’t care). I made it clear to her that I wanted him to stop all the extra activity. I demanded that he go to the doctor today. And then I had a rather awesome experience.
I felt so helpless. I was looking online at MerryMaids and places like that knowing full well it would be hard to find someone who could come so quickly. So I sent a text message to a woman I work with in the kitchen at church and asked her if she knew a cleaning person. Then I went to Facebook and messaged an older woman, a victim advocate at my work, and asked her if she knew of a cleaning person. Finally I wrote to my boss and asked her in a text.
They all responded with caring and with ideas. They were all willing to do more. One of them, the advocate from my work even said she would come over and do it herself. I was utterly blown away.
It made me realize that even though it is early stages, I am forming relationships and friendships. It’s taking a long time, but I knew they didn’t mind being asked by me and that they were willing to try to do more. That is friendship, right? I felt so happy that I could see the proof of it right before my eyes.
In the end, when I told my folks I was arranging someone to come finish the cleaning they utterly rejected the notion. They said they were almost done and dad would pace himself and it was a waste of money. And the truth is the only thing left to be done are the floors and washing the dogs. And the other truth is I should have done more myself. I dusted the whole house on Sunday and on Monday I cleaned the shower, which I do every week. I spent some time cleaning stuff out of the fridge, but other than that I didn’t really do much.
Well, it looks as though we’ll make it until Thursday when they arrive and I pray it’s a good visit. I’m very excited to see my sweet young nephew, but just as excited to see my own daughter who will be here on Sunday with her boyfriend to meet them.
I’m grateful for those rare moments when you can see that your efforts are paying off. It gives me hope for the future.
Thanks for reading.