Now to the main thing. I just started my new job as a staff member for Boys and Girls Club of Placer County, working in their after-school program at a school in Auburn. It's been a lot of fun, so far, though more exhausting than 4 hours has any right to be. That's mostly just because I'm out of practice both working and being around over a hundred other people, most of them small humans who at least partially look up to you (even though some of them are taller than me). The introvert in me is having a time of it adjusting, but it's only the first week and it will get easier.
The main reason I wanted to talk about this was because, 1) It is basically the main thing going on in my life right now, besides NaNo recovery which includes remembering what it's like to take regular showers; and, 2) I want to talk about how much fun it is to work with kids.
Seriously. It is a blast. I love it so much. I've been working with kids since I was a kid, it seems. As soon as I was at least a little older than the majority of the children at church, I was the one put in charge and ever since then it's just been a part of my life. I went through a period where I rarely worked with kids, focusing on school or work instead. It drove me nuts.
For awhile, that was sort of taken care of by living with a family that had the cutest twin 7 year old girls. Seriously. Being around those two was like a constant episode of "Kids Say the Darndest Things." I was reintroduced to tea parties, playing with Barbies, playing "gymnastics," taking walks in which rocks were the most fascinating thing in the world, and the joys of tickling. Also, they introduced me to My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, which is delightful. It got me through 5 very dark months (literally) working overnight shifts at a hotel. So did having them to play with in the afternoons when I was actually awake.
I also started working with the kids at church at the beginning of the school year, which is also great. It's so funny having conversations with kids who decide they are the president of United States and they are going to give an executive order speech to the rest of the kids, despite the fact that no one else is paying attention (can you guess what was going on in the world that week?). Or with kids who weren't even born when the first Pokemon games came out, telling you that they know EVERYTHING about Pokemon, which may be true in fact. I quizzed that kid on First Gen stuff and he acquitted himself well. I was certainly impressed. Or just conversations with kids in general.
That's what I've noticed in this new job so far. Conversations with kids require you to suspend reality somewhat, because you know that to get what they're saying on their level, you have to get on their level. And that is a level where a group of girls could really be descendants of Native Americans who were driven from their land after their parents were killed, even though they all look totally different from each other and minutes later start talking about what they're going to do with their parents when they get home.
It's just so much fun. I've been helping in the homework area, and watching a kid get it by themselves after you've talked them through it the last ten times is the best. Or on the playground, where I've already had little boys less than half my height school me in soccer. Or when I'm just hanging out with conversations, listening to the way their logic works. I love it.
I will probably end up with many more stories, or at least fun anecdotes over this month. From church and my job. Because they both have those kids who say things that are just spectacular. Also, those ones who think I'm crazy because I danced around a lot when we were making Christmas decorations and listening to Christmas music.
And now to get ready for work. Allons-y!