Tomorrow afternoon I start down a new road and face a brand new adventure. I am going to be a volunteer at a week long camp for children with Ventilator Dependencies. From Friday to Friday I will be totally out of my element. With my little brother being the same age as my assigned camper I’m not too worried about being around a kid all week. I’m more worried about the emotional havoc this could cause.
I am a “softie” as my family calls it. I hate to see kids suffer. Now, I know that these kids are not “suffering” the same way I might think they are. As the kids were born with these disabilities they know no other way of life. To them, this is normal the same way it is normal for me to walk to my car, go running or play outside with my little brother. I suppose this highlights the subjectivity of the word normal.
The last thing I want to do is to make these kids feel like I’m compensating for something by being that sugar-coated, bless your heart, tear up when I look at you counselor. They don’t need that. Neither do I. They need a strong adult to recognize their strengths. These kids need interaction.
Normally I retreat into my own safety zone of the computer, my books or my horse and equestrian hobbies. This week I have no retreat except that of the shared space of the cabin. I’m more worried about what the emotional toll will be, although this wouldn’t be my first time working with children that are ill, in small doses.
I couldn’t be more excited about this opportunity despite the initial apprehension and nervous energy. I know that these kids can teach me more about life than I can teach them, as they have experienced so much in such a short time. I just have to stay caffeinated! As most people know, children will run you ragged and I don’t suspect these children to be any different. I have my work cut out for me in the next week and despite the initial tensions, worries and stresses I couldn’t be more excited to leave my everyday for just a couple days spent with some really incredible children! Wish me luck!!