Generations Day Care Chapter One: My Feelings
My First Job
In the summer of 1999 I got my very first job through the Summer Youth Employment program. It was a training program for young high school students who wanted to learn about the workplace during summer vacation.
At sixteen and as the oldest of five boys I was very good with younger kids. I baby-sat for my relatives, my mother's friends, and neighbors and all of the parents trusted me. So it seemed like the natural move for me to choose a position as a teacher's assistant at what was then called Generations Daycare.
At the time I was the only male working there who wasn't a parent of one of the kids. The director sent me to the Generations Summer Camp, which was a summer program geared towards boys and girls between the ages of six and twelve and located in the school cafeteria of Catamount Elementary School.
I was extremely nervous that first day as they effectively threw into the tank, so to speak. There was a routine I wasn't familiar with and the teachers, two women named Sarah and Amanda, didn't really have time to explain everything to me. There were so many kids there and it felt very overwhelming. Other feelings followed.
It felt good by the end of the day. I started remembering the names of the children and I even developed a good rapport with each of them by playing with them and getting to know them.
Some of the feelings I can't describe well. Those I'll describe through things I have said.
Then there was a feeling was of excitement. Running across the playground, hiding from them, "Tag, you're it!" "Homebase I'm safe!" Conceiting defeat at the end of the game.
Next came trust. "It hurts." "Don't worry, this will sting for just a minute. But that means it's cleaning the cut out. You'll be okay."
Laughter: "Spencer, get that bucket off your head."
Understanding: "Hey Joey. You know I'm not angry at you. I know what it's like to be frustrated, and If you need a friend to talk to I'm right here."
"It's hard not having someone you're own age here is it?"
Concern: "Raymond, are you okay? You're seem more tired than usual."
Encouragement: "Go Larissa! A hole in one on the first shot, I think that earns seven high fives."
Over the next few weeks that summer would be one of the best summers I ever spent as I learned more about myself and about one of my earliest passions.