I was at the playground tonight with Toby. I really watched him tonight. Not sure why tonight was any different. Maybe it was dark French roast coffee I had. Gave me an extra caffeine boost. I was amazed by how much he had grown up. He was climbing on things that really weren’t meant to be climbed on but he managed them. He was playing with a little girl and did great. He took turns and shared his toys. His imagination is getting better. We played “store”. I would walk up to this play area and ask for food or clothes and he would give me a hand full of mulch. It was the little things that he did that made things different, saying “thank you” at appropriate times. Or informing me he was out of milkshake and all he had was apple juice. It was pretty sweet to see that he had grown up just a little.
Recently I was at a conference. At the conference were wide variety of professionals from my field. When you go to these conference you tend to run into the same people and you get to know people. I ran into a former boss. I worked with years ago, in fact it was the first job I got out of college. My buddy Mike and I worked there together. There was a friend that we made while we worked there named Maria. We all started around the same time. We had a blast! We worked at a residential home for delinquent youth. Young and just out of college the three of us made our mistakes and learned lessons.
One mistake that comes to mind is when I had to take some kids shopping for something. I didn’t take any change and we had to take a toll road home. In a panic because it was getting late, I ran the toll booth. A week or so later my boss calls me into the office. I’m pretty sure she had pictures of me running the toll booth. I confessed immediately! She gave me a look and told me not to do it again. Lesson learned… Get an EZ Pass.
Sitting there with my former boss and talking about where Mike, Maria and I are now was really cool. Maria is now the supervisor of the residential home we worked at, Mike is a drug and alcohol counselor at a prison and gets to do trainings called Hostage Crisis Training and I’m worrying about making sure my facility is in compliance with letters like PREA, BHSL, and DPW.
I don’t know about you but I often times I think “man when I grow up…” Or “when I get older…” I think that some how I need to get older than what I am to fix things. That I’m still back being 22yrs old and that I have a ton of growing up to do. This conference made me pause and realize that I’ve actually grown up. Just like tonight when I stopped and really studied Toby I noticed it was the little things that made a difference. It was pretty sweet for me to realize that in fact, I had grown up just a little.