Thursday, October 11, 2012

Choices

There are some days at my job that are harder than others.  My ultimate goal for my life would be to work with kids again, but for now I am working with mentally ill people that commit a crime as a direct result of their illness.  It's called Mental Health Court, which is a growing thing in the USA.  It is a 2 year intensive program (most of the participants are engaged in some sort of therapy - groups/individual - every day of the week).  If they can complete the program then their charges are dropped.  They are required to get a UA (urine analysis to check for drugs) randomly twice (at least) a week, they have to go to court every other week, and by the end of the program they should have some sort of job/volunteer job or be in school.  It is a really good program and most people who do it and graduate have said that what they learned in the program has helped them tremendously.  If they are non-compliant or commit another crime then often they get terminated and they are found guilty of the charges that they had to get them into the program and have to serve their time in prison (or jail if it's under a year).

Anyway, on Monday I had an extremely tough day.  One of my clients will likely be terminated from the program.  We've had several people terminated, it happens. This particular person, though, affected me strongly.  He is in his early 20's and really has not had a chance in his life.  When I came back from maternity leave last year he had entered the program and immediately gotten into trouble with the court.  They team was ready to terminate him back then.  For whatever reason I really liked him and saw a lot of potential in him.  I think that my co-worker and I worked extremely hard to keep in going in the program.  Well, last week was his last straw and this Monday a termination hearing was filed in court.  It hit me hard.  I was extremely upset, and have felt like we failed him somehow.  Everyone has told me that we did what we could, even carrying him sometimes, but I don't really want to hear that.  I just know that a good kid is going to end up in prison because of bad decisions that stem from how he was raised.

It just brings home to me the importance parents are in a person's life.  How you are raised does affect you.  What I teach (or don't teach) my kids (good and bad) will definitely hurt or help them as adults.  Don't get me wrong, adults definitely have choices.  They can choose to do one thing over another.  I can choose to rob a convienent store, or I can choose to get a job so that I have money to buy a candy bar from the convienent store. 

I can choose to sit around and eat on my coach and gain more weight, or I can choose to go run, eat healthy meals and live an active life.  But it is so much easier for an adult to make that choice if they started at a young age with their parents.  I heard that most active, fit adults did some sort of exercising outside of school and organized sports as a child.  I have no idea where I heard that, I'm pretty sure I read it somewhere, but from what I remember being in organized sports isn't enough to keep you active as an adult. I played basketball, volleyball, tennis, and was a cheerleader in high school, but when I got home we ate dinner (at a table) and then watched TV in the evening.  On weekends we were left to do whatever we wanted, usually that was inside even though we lived on a farm, and I don't remember ever seeing my Mom do any type of exercising.  My Dad played basketball with me a few times and he would race me, but never consistently, and not after I got into high school.

I hope that I am a good example to my kids.  Damian does every sport he can (basketball, wrestling, gymnastics, baseball, and he used to play soccer), and would do more if he had more time in the day and we had more money in the bank account.  But he never exercises outside of his sports.  We force him to go wog with us sometimes.  We have started playing tennis once a week, which we all love, but it's going to get cold soon and too dark to play after work.  We will just need to start it up again in the spring.  
I always post pictures of Maddox, so here is one of D. 
I can't believe how big he is now.
 This post took a strange turn.  I didn't intend to go this direction with it, but I just followed my train of thought.  (And sometimes that is a crazy ride!) =)

Maddox has started getting very upset when I leave the house.  It's very hard for me because he hangs onto my legs and starts crying.  He used to barely acknowledge that I was leaving and when he did he would wave "bye bye" and run to the window to wave more.  

Maddox loves the dog kennel.

And wearing bowls as hats. =)


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