I spent the morning working with J Lo to clean out the kitchen at our facility. We got approval to get the kitchen remodeled, and it’s been a nightmare for as long as I’ve worked there, and I didn’t want to feel guilty if there was some horrendous shit in the cabinets and there was some kind of inspection. Later in the morning, we went to Wal-Mart to pick up a furniture donation, and it was nice to get some car time to talk casually and informally.
I shared that I had had a moment this week where I was helping a kid with social skills while at the same time being so aware of how I should take my own advice and connect the dots in my own life. There is a boy named Josiah, around 9 or 10, that I work with. He has a brother that’s older than him by only around a year. These two boys bring a cloud of wild and positive energy wherever they go, bouncing off the walls but with such good spirits that you want to let them enjoy themselves. Josiah’s parents work hard and work a lot. A lot of families in Camas are really into sports and dads take a lot of time to coach their kids and work on early sports skills. I don’t think Josiah or his brother have a lot of that time, and so they rarely join in the more formal sports games on the playground, the boys that self-organize into football or soccer or basketball games.
I was working in the gym on Wednesday, and I saw Josiah hanging around the periphery of the basketball game that was in progress. Josiah wanted to join in, but was really unsure of himself. He kept calling out to some of the kids he knew that were playing, and asking for permission to join and play. These kids would look towards him, but they were mostly focused on the game and just kind of shrugged. I could see that Jacob was reading that look as rejection, and he came over to me very upset and saying that the kids playing were excluding him. I helped him see that these kids were not excluding him, that from their perspective, anybody could join and and come and play just by playing, and no one person in the game could give the permission he was looking for. I told him that the only way to join in was to go after the ball every time, to play when he got possession.
It made me think of the places in my own life where I feel on the periphery, waiting for that invitation to join in, when really the only action to take is to act. I’ve also been thinking of the kids that were already playing. None of them was particularly friendly to Josiah, and it would not have hurt them to find some way to bring him into the game. At the same time, I can’t bring myself to blame any of the kids for not knowing to take ownership of the whole game like that yet. I don’t think I have that kind of compassion yet for the people who are in the same position in relation to myself in my own life, in the things that I want to become a part of.
The rest of the day came and went. I texted around looking for evening plans, and decided to join Jesus Christ for dinner and hanging out with some of his friends. The plan was to go dancing, but by the time they were done pregaming, it was near midnight and just too late for me to start something like that, so I called it an early night and went to sleep.
I spent the next day lazing. After waking up, I fucked around for a little bit, then went outside to catch some of the beautiful sun and start working on my lovely summer bronze. In the evening, I headed out with Jesus Christ to a Third Angle concert at the art museum of weird and difficult experimental classical music, and I was grateful to have him along as a a friend that’s also into shit like that. After a nightcap, I dropped him off and once again just headed in to get some sleep.