Some days it seems as if the stars and planets are all aligned. I reach the end of the day, and I'm tired, but in a good way. Tired because I did good work. Tired because the work I did felt worthwhile to someone outside of just me and even just of my clients.
Mondays are mostly days I spend a good part of my day in juvenile court. Mostly i am the guardian of kids that are caught up in court cases that are supposed to be about them, but hardly ever are. Today I got to see a girl i first met back in August. She is not all at once lovable. She is belligerent at times, defiant and not at all the cute, cuddly kind of kids that seems to be most of my caseload. She's 14, and a chronic truant. (She doesn't want to go to school) When you read her file, you can't help but weep for the pain in those pages. No wonder she could care less about her public education. I've spent some time with this girl outside court. I immediately identified with her, and so I took her with my kids to a Halloween event last fall. She dressed as an angel, and forgot that she was a sullen teenager for a couple of hours. She fell in love with my 2 year old son, and he thought she was something too. He kept calling her "Sugar" and she giggled like the little girl she still is. She's made quite the turnaround in the past 6 months. It was so good to bring the court good news about her. She smiles now, and I hope that when she's 20 and 30 and 40, that she will be ok. I don't know if she will, but I'm hopeful today. These kids are gifts to me. I get to see the best in them, and point it out to the Judge. I get to be supportive, cheer them on, cry with them, try to understand them and ultimately tell them that it will be ok, even when i don't necessarily believe it will be. I can't fix anything, and I have no great knowledge to impart to them, but I can care for them. And every now and again, when the stars and planets are aligned, they do make it. They get adopted by loving families. Their parents get it together and are able to take care of them again. They learn to like themselves despite all they've lived through.
It was a good day.