Generations Day Care Part Four: Hurt Feelings and Bandages
There was never a dull moment at Generations summer camp. One of the oddest feelings was going back to my old elementary school, Catamount. Since we were located in the cafeteria I couldn't help but remember the lunches I had here and the people I knew.
We shared the playground with another group that also worked with kids. And as it happened there was also another high school student by the name of George who was also working with the same Summer Youth Employment Program that signed my paychecks. Since both groups shared the playground, often times I would help George with his kids and he would help me with mine.
There were days when George could push the tire swing faster and our groups played hide and seek and tag together more times than I could count. Normally when we went outside, Sarah and Amanda would be sitting off to the side chatting, so having the extra person on the playground really helped at times. Especially on the days that Preston needed someone to talk to and being the only guy there, I was most often that person.
One particular day Megan was upset and she came to me followed by her sister Chelsea and her best friend Larissa.
"Nate, Raymond used to play with me and now he hates me." Megan whined.
"How come?" I asked.
"His cousin Meagan C. is making him hate me."
Grown-up logic just doesn't solve problems like this. I can't think of the number of times when I was Megan's age and I had gone to an adult with a problem only to be brushed off by “Adult Logic”. Unfortunately when you are a kid adult logic just doesn't apply, no matter how reasonable it is.
At the same time Megan was a very imaginative girl. This was a kid who once gave me a detailed description of her “trip” to see the Titanic. Remembering my own imagination I didn't begrudge her her chance to try to bedazzle me with her stories, but I also knew that I had to be objective on this one.
I asked Meagan C and Raymond what was going on. Meagan C, who is about two years older than the former, explained that she just wanted to spend some time with her cousin for a while. It made sense to me, so I asked Megan if she wouldn't mind giving them some space.
“No!” Megan said, continuing to Sarah's whine. “Raymond hates me now!”
Eventually it was sorted out with Tiffany's help and everything went back to normal. Megan went back to being her cheerful self and Raymond got over his “hate” and went back to playing with her.
I've placed bandages on cuts with gentleness and skill, I've heard the life stories of ten or fifteen kids all ranging from six to twelve, but there were still things I was learning. Fortunately I wasn't alone