Sunday, October 3, 2010

Me? A mentor?

Do you remember earlier this summer after I had worked at Alcatraz for about a week? And I was upset about how awesome some of these kids are and what crappy home lives they had? And I was crying around about it? And Daddy-O reminded me that these kids are not stray kittens and puppies and I CANNOT just bring home a kid? Uhhhhh, well.... I sorta figured out a way around that...

And Daddy-O (who is reading this from Texas) breathe; no one else is moving into the attic. I promise! For now! *wink*

There is a mentor program at Alcatraz and I signed up. Then I was given permission to pick what kid I would like to mentor, as long as it was a girl and she didn't already have a mentor.

That being said, there is a super neat kid at Alcatraz who is there for "lesser" reasons than some of the other kids. She was also the girl who was my "Princess Beowulf" in the class of kids who made the movie. This girl is 16 years old and is super sparkly, outgoing, sweet, kind, silly and just awesome. She had a great personality and is a bright girl, a pretty good student. I have been assigned to be her mentor. And here in "shoes/purses" bloggerville, I so dub thee mentoree as Princess.

You might wondering, if Princess is such a great kid, why is she in a place like Alcatraz. Well, keeping the idea of confidentiality in mind, I can tell you she had a crappy home life and ran away one too many times. Her mom gave up on her and here she is. I've spoken at length with her case manager and she's one of the kids who is here because there is no where else for her to go; no one wants her. She wasn't molested or abused. She wasn't beaten or "Dave Pelzer neglected." She wasn't homeless. She just has a crappy home life with a really crappy parent situation. Should she be in a place like this? Probably not. But there was no other option.

Now, I'm her mentor. She can go places with me and do things. She's a neat kid who is in serious need of some one on one attention. She needs a good role model. She needs someone to love her for who she is and not expect her to be "anyone" else. She needs to not be ignored. I can do all that. I was also selected to work with Princess because we share some of the same traits but as an adult I know how to use those traits in public to my advantage. (We do not have to be the center of attention all the time, right?) I can be a strong woman role model. The case manager also likes that I have a group of female friends who can also be a good influence on her. Another strength is that I have a great relationship with my dad and she can see that, be exposed to a healthy father/ daughter relationship. (See, Daddy-O this is good for you, too! *wink*)

Today I get to pick her up and take her out. We don't have to "do" something every time, which is cool; however, since I am a person who likes to go out and "do" things, she gets to go along-- the reinactment, craft show, chili fair, the apple orchard open house, homecoming football game... not to mention making cookies for troops. Princess loves to cook and said she would love to fix dinner for me sometime. Cool, eh? But today we are going to Northern Civilization to spend my $25 gift certificate at Lane Bryant. And walk around a mall, which has her jumping up and down. We're gonna grab some dinner and then pick up Mac and see a movie. (Good family exposure, and role modeling healthy parent - child relationship... unless he mentions cheer leading and thumbs- egads!)

I'm very excited about this. I can't wait!

Good way for me to have a teenage daughter. And spend some time with an awesome kid.

I know she's not a puppy or a kitten but.... ya know. I figured out a way...



Wiley said...

Awesome! Respect - you are a great role model! And Princess sounds like she'll get a lot out of the arrangement, which is even better :)

Shan said...

You're awesome. I've been enjoying your posts lately but haven't had the gumption or time management skills to comment much.
I wish you could adopt Princess. The Dave Peltzer books were my first intro to the foster care scene and what got me interested in the first place. So I totally get the reference. There is a huge difference in the damage levels of these kiddos that need adopting. Some are daunting, some just need to be loved and modeled for. :)

Mellodee said...

What a great opportunity for both of you! I have a friend who is mentoring a teenaged girl through Big Brothers (I think). Their relationship has been in place for more than 5 years! That is so cool! Hope that you and the Princess have that kind of closeness.

Jacqueline said...

What a great opportunity for all of you. I still am working on mentoring my own teenagers - wish they wanted to hang with me more - I really could be a good role model. When I asked my daughter to hand out with dad and I one weekend night, she replied, "Mom, I have a life!" No she didn't, that's why I asked her to hang with us!!! Enjoy this, it will be great.

I was catching up on PS as we were out of town. I hadn't thought of toe socks. My feet have severe claustrophobia in the winter. They want to be free to roam a beach or something, but toe socks would be a great idea.

TaDa said...

That is so awesome... she is one lucky girl...every child be it young, tweens or teens deserve the unconditional love of a parenting type figure..