Today was my first day of work at my new job.
It was a strange feeling getting up this morning to get ready for work (and make lunches and pack bags, and drive kids to school... cause that's what us momma's do!). I didn't feel nervous, I felt excited. I felt like I was about to walk in to what I'd been waiting for. I packed my own lunch, grabbed my things and drove off to an actual workplace to which I was expected. It felt good. It felt like it was my time.
Let me tell you about my job. My official title is Child and Youth Counsellor. I get to have this awesome role to play at Alpha House, which is an amazing project that provides transitional second-stage housing for women and their kids who have left abusive situations. This means I get to spend twenty hours a week counselling kids and teenagers who are in the midst of transition and are recovering from the trauma of leaving an abuser and are learning skills and new ways of being and relating in healthy relationships. Not only that, I get to meet with each of their moms one on one every week to talk about parenting, being a positive force in their kid's lives, and all of the other things that come along with the experience of leaving an abusive partner and starting again.
I am so grateful for this chance to practice the therapeutic skill set I've been developing. I am so thankful to get to do it in a place that allows me the freedom and space to try new things and do it "my way". I am in awe of the fact that I get to work with some of the strongest and bravest women who want to do better for their kids. I am overwhelmed with the amazing reality that I get to help let some light in to the dark places in kid's hearts and minds every single day that I go to work.
Mike asked me at the end of the day how it all went. I said, "it was good". But if he asked me now I'd say it was "good and exciting, and scary, and overwhelming and hard, and inspiring and interesting, and challenging, and captivating". (Plus a lot more things that I can't put into words tonight.)
In the midst of all the excitement of a first day, there was a wrench in the plan, as there so often is. Ellie had to be taken to see a pediatric orthopedic specialist today to cast her broken wrist. Usually that's my job to do. I take the girls to every appointment and every check-up and make sure it all gets done. But today was Mike's day. He took Ellie to work with him, then to her appointment and off to school. I was the one getting the texts from the Dr's office and he was the one holding her hand. It felt so different to be the one who wasn't there. Part of me felt that it wasn't right. But the other part knew that today was a great gift. I had to be at work, but Mike got to be the one right by Ellie's side. They have their own chapter of the story from today, and it's just theirs. They got to tell me all about it when I got home, and it was good.
Tomorrow I get to do it all over again. I get to run a parenting support group right off the hop, first thing in the morning. I am looking forward to walking through the doors and knowing the women's stories, feeling connected with their kids, and comfortable in my space. That will take awhile, but I'm looking forward to getting there. And that feels pretty great.