Monday, January 30, 2006

Malaise Before Confrontation

I'm alternately poking listlessly through my favorite web sites and gazing out the window into the darkness tonight. A light breeze is shifting the tree skeletons in a discreet death-dance of sorts, a few flakes of snow are skirling along the yard, and the lightpost on the road stands watch over whatever might be moving out there. I may take a walk later to see if I can catch a glimpse of any rabbits or deer and share the night with them a bit.

"Josie's" lies have me down for the moment, and a little out of sorts as I try to pick up the thread of the right way to take care of it. It would be so much easier if I didn't care so much for this girl. I could just smile and look the other way while she goes out and ruts in the back seat of her pimple-faced, cheating little scummy boyfriend. If she gets "a little bit preggers" as my godmother used to say, well, wouldn't that be just too bad.

But I can't do that. She has so much potential, and all around her is a vacuum of potential. I need to find a way to hold a mirror up to her that actually makes her see the reflection properly. All the talents she has, and all the possible futures she could realize for herself. Instead, right now, she has drug addicts/dealers, drunks who sit in the bar all night and people who scratch out a living with neither the will nor the gifts to strive for better as her role models.

Our meeting with "Josie", social workers et al is set for 5 on Thursday...that night's blog entry should be as interesting to me as it might be to you. I plan on laying at least some small statement of our state of mind on the table. A declaration of war of sorts, I suppose. It will become known to "Josie", in front of her mother and those who are molding her future, that we know she's been lying, it will stop, and there will be further cutbacks on her contacts with her old life.

Oh, she won't like it. She'll most likely hate me in a deep and personal way...hopefully only at first. She's had a Minnesota-weather attitude lately, turning from sulking and muttering R-rated strings of cuss words under her breath one moment, and the next offering to help clean things up with a sunny smile on her face. I hope it'll be like that.

But if it isn't, then I guess that's just my tough luck. Because while this girl may very well fail herself in the end, I cannot and will not allow myself to fail her because it's uncomfortable to have her mad at me. I don't recall a single time I ever detected a hint of that kind of cowardice in my mother when she was fostering, and I won't allow that kind of cowardice to affect my performance in this job. It's too important.

Still, when I'm out walking among the deer and rabbits, doubts creep in. I suppose it's okay out there though, as long as I don't bring it back in the house with me.


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