Tuesday, January 27, 2009

troublemakers and angels and those that are both

I am very happy to report that today went much easier at the jail. Some for not being in such shock, and some for already knowing some faces and names. There is one kid who is about nine and his name is Frank and he is just there because he has been abandoned, not because he comitted any crime. He should really be at the school, he is so smart and sweet. If he has to stay in that room for another nine years, there is going to be no saving him. He is the first of I am sure many that I just want to take home. His life is so unfair that it breaks my heart.

The oldest boy, named Tony, reminds me of Flip like you wouldn´t believe. Brought tears to my eyes today. The mischeivious twinkle in his eye, his sense of humor, his incredible pride. He is a shit, but I can´t help but love him and I hope I can get him to come around a little with me. He has already started today to make some small overtures - asking me for help with something he was clearly capable of doing himself, for example. But their pride is so sensitive, any wrong move and you start back over at the beginning with them. So there is this line to walk about being good to them and holding your own power so that they respect you.

The jail is also hard because you never know how much time you will have with a kid, they can be gone at any moment. Just when you really look forward to seeing them tomorrow, they may just never be there again. Like I am looking forward to seeing Tony tomorrow to see if we can get any further with trust, but then he might just not be there and it will be some other kid who yells at you not to touch him and you have to start all over.

The balance of doing what they want and holding your power for respect is true at the school as well. There is one kid Andear that is such a trouble maker but he really wants to be good and wants you to love him and when you get mad at him about something, that is when he melts down. Today I watched him take a little break for a minute and pull himself together before continuing his work. I told him I was proud of him and I don´t think that anyone has ever noticed that before in him, they just think he´s weird cause he´ll suddenly zone out for a minute for no apparent reason. He is my trouble maker. We fight more than anyone else, but he always makes sure to ask if I will be there tomorrow and manipulates the system to spend time with me, even if it´s reading, which he hates, just to be next to me, even though we spend a lot of time fighting about stuff. But we also spend a lot of time tickling and giggling and he is getting better.

The kids remember my name because I am Spiderman´s girlfriend and they ask where he is and when he is coming. I haven´t been able to quite come up with a good response to this yet. Sometimes it´s "soon", but that is a bad answer, because then they keep asking and want to know when. Today I had a visit with a little kid named Josua about the fact that there is no Spiderman, he is made up, but he didn´t believe me for a single second. He is attached to me all all times and I´m pretty sure it´s because he doesn´t want to miss Spiderman´s visit. I am curious about what better answer I will find.

It´s amazing that I´ve been here only such a short time and already find myself creating such relationships with these kids. I can´t imagine how it will feel to leave after six months. Luckily I have six months to revel in it before finding out.

Love to you all,


  1. Does Spiderman need to send you a and the kids a care package? Or maybe Spiderman's personal secretary?

  2. Whatever life holds in store for me, I will never forget these words: "With great power comes great responsibility." This is my gift, my curse. Who am I? I'm Spiderman.